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Ministry of Agriculture rejects accusations of negligence

JEPCO head admits ‘failure’ during the blizzard

Snow
(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture Lawrence Al-Majali said that the ministry has carried out its duties to the fullest, and that “our team was present in all operating rooms around the Kingdom, and in coordination with the concerned authorities, we have provided the necessary service”.اضافة اعلان

Majali added that the ministry had allocated 70 four-wheel drive and various other vehicles to carry out needed operations, and that 350 employees worked in various operating rooms.

Responding to accusations that in many places power was cut off because of trees, he said that the Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO) has the authority to remove fallen branches or trees if the electricity delivery service is disrupted.

General Manager of the Jordanian Electric Power Company (JEPCO) Hassan Abdullah on Saturday apologized to Jordanians for the power outage, admitting “failure” during the blizzard. 

Speaking on Roya TV, Abdullah said that about 2,163 employees and 450 different types of machinery, including 10 bulldozers, were deployed to deal with the outcome of recent weather conditions.

JEPCO’s spokesperson, Mohammad Seifan, said that the JEPCO teams, which were distributed throughout the Kingdom, remained in the field for three consecutive days, adding that the power outages were caused by exceptional climatic conditions and the closure of many roads made it difficult to reach many places where the problem needed fixing.

Moreover, the trees that fell severed electricity wires and uprooted 160 utility poles that are part of main lines, he said, stressing that the company did not fall short and did not blame any party, but was on standby and had announced an emergency plan a few days before the snowfall.

“We, as a company, draw lessons and experiences and identify the flaws to address them,” Seifan said.

Lower House of Parliament member Zaid Otoom said on Saturday that more than 80 deputies had signed a memorandum requesting that a parliament session be held to discuss the power outages that occurred in the central regions and to hold those responsible accountable.

He also said the Parliamentary Energy Committee met with Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al-Kharabsheh and Chairman of the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) Hussein Allaboun, and that the committee members asked about the reasons for the power outage, and whether emergency plans had been made by JEPCO and EMRC.

MP Yanal Freihat said that here was negligence on the part JEPCO, the Greater Amman Municipality, and the Ministry of Agriculture, and that “citizens do not care who is responsible, what the defaulting party is, as much as they care to enjoy the service itself”.

Freihat stressed the need to both hold negligent parties accountable and compensate those affected.

MP Khaled Al-Shloul said that citizens were angered by the long hours of power outage in Amman and the central areas, and that the electricity company should have been better prepared, especially since everyone was aware of the strength of the polar depression.

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