Simkot residents without power for past two weeksThe District Administration Office has also been relying on a generator for its daily operations.
Power supply in Simkot, the district headquarters of Humla, is yet to resume after a landslide damaged the canal of Hildum Micro Hydropower Project two weeks ago.
The power outage in Simkot has forced local residents to pay a minimum of Rs 100 to charge their phones at local shops that have generators.
“There is no guarantee that the phones are fully charged either,” said Para Bahadur Thapa, a resident of Simkot. “We don’t know how long we have to face this situation. The concerned authority has not paid any attention to repairing the damaged canal so far.”
Shops in the area use generators and solar power to run their businesses. For the past two weeks, locals and students have been crowding these shops every day to charge their phones.
“We have to purchase generator fuel (petrol) at Rs 350 per litre. We can’t charge all phones for free because the cost of running a generator is high,” said Kamal Rokaya, a local entrepreneur in Simkot.
Locals complained that even solar panels are not working because the area has not seen sunshine for the last few days. “The weather is gloomy so even solar panels aren’t of much use. Because of the electricity problem, the District Hospital in Simkot has also stopped providing X-ray, video X-ray and laboratory services,” said Thapa.
Dharma Lama, an employee at Hildum Hydropower Project, said that it would take a few more days to resume power supply, as the repair work of the damaged canal was underway.
The District Administration Office has also been relying on a generator for its daily operations.
“Important work like issuing citizenship certificates was also on hold because of the power outage. We have been using a generator during office hours to meet our needs,” said Chief District Officer Ganesh Acharya. According to him, the office resumed its services from Sunday after purchasing a generator in Nepalgunj.
He said the office had to purchase a generator since the solar plant installed earlier did not work.
Phone network is also affected by the power outage in Simkot, disconnecting the district headquarters from the rest of the country, says Suresh Karki of Simkot.
“Phone connectivity is very poor in Simkot, probably due to disruption in phone lines caused by landslides. We can’t use our phones to make calls even when the battery is full,” he said.
The office of Nepal Telecom has also been using a generator to continue its services.
“We have closed the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) services and mobile phone services from 9pm to 5am, as the fuel cost is very high to operate a generator,” said Ram Bahadur Bohara, an employee at the Nepal Telecom Office in Humla. “The telephone network is weak in the rural areas, as the solar panels installed there are not working properly due to continuous rains.”