Power outage up to 58 hours per weekNepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has increased the power outage duration by 14 hours effective from Friday. With the revised schedule, there will be 58 hours of power cut per week from earlier 44 hours.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has increased the power outage duration by 14 hours effective from Friday. With the revised schedule, there will be 58 hours of power cut per week from earlier 44 hours.
The NEA increased the power outage hours, citing increase in load in the
system, failure in reconstruction of hydropower stations damaged by the earthquake, and decrease in water level in rivers.
With the country reeling under an acute shortage of cooking gas due to the Indian blockade, many families are relying on induction cooktops, electric rice cookers, and microwave ovens. The increased load shedding hours will affect their daily life as the power outage is going to take place mostly between 5 and 8 in the morning and 4 and 8 in the evening when most families cook.
“The government cannot provide cooking gas, and now they are increasing the load shedding hours,” said Kalpana Rijal of Kageshwori Manohara Municipality.
According to official data, more than 22 percent households in the country rely on LPG for cooking purpose; in case of Kathmandu, around 90 percent of its people use LPG.
To address the LPG shortage inside Kathmandu Valley, the government is selling firewood to the public. However, firewood is not a solution for people like Rajan Bhattarai of Shankhamul. His landlord does not let him burn firewood inside the room.
“I have to send my daughter to school by 9:30am and I have to go to work as well. How will I prepare food so early when there is no cooking gas, no firewood and no electricity?” Bhattarai said.
The NEA officials say they had to increase the power outage hours as the water level in rivers has gone down while demand has been going up. “We have tried our best to supply power to support the cooking needs of the public,” said Mukesh Raj Kafle, the NEA managing director.
As of Thursday, the NEA is receiving 300 MW energy from its power plants and 150 MW from the power plants developed by Independent Power Producers. Imports from India stands at 215 MW.
With the increase in the use of electric cooking appliances, Kathmandu Valley is witnessing problem in at least two transformers daily. The NEA’s Kuleshwor Distribution Centre reported shot-circuit in eight transformers and fuse burning in 16 places in the past 10 days. Maharajgunj Distribution Centre stated that seven transformers have blown their fuse after Tihar. Kirtipur Distribution Centre has reported that two transformers have blown out while 19 others have developed problems. “There are 3,000 transformers inside Kathmandu Valley. We have been replacing around two units each day,” said Kafle.