Wed, 20 Mar, 2019

Will Power Cuts in Kathmandu be a Thing of History?

By Osheen Shrestha

Photo Source: globalpowerjournal.com
Nepal is the second richest country having the capacity to produce electricity after Brazil. According to recent studies, Nepali rivers and the steep topography of Nepal supports to develop the biggest hydro projects in the world. Therefore, Nepal has a huge hydropower potential. Current estimates are that Nepal has a potential to generate about 40,000 MW hydropower. However, till date Nepal has only produced approximately 680 MW of electricity. Despite its potential, only 40 percent people have access to electricity. The word “load shedding” is familiar among Nepali people since they often face electricity crisis. Despite the capacity, Kathmandu Valley had been facing long hours of power cuts; the power cuts would reach up to 16 hours a day in the dry season. Though Nepal Electricity Authority was not capable of supplying electricity, it was very successful to provide the load shedding schedule (availability and unavailability of electricity) to its customer a year back. The electricity crisis of this millennium began in 2006. Nepal saw the last electricity crisis of the last millennium in 1999 and with the commissioning of Khimti project in 2000, there was no load shedding through till 2005. Again since Tihar, some optimism can be seen in the residents of Kathmandu Valley as there have been no power cuts. Well, the credit goes to one and only Kul Man Ghising. Nepal Government received a resignation letter from Director Mukesh Raj Kafle. Immediately on Bhadra 22, 2073, the ministers held a meeting. After the meeting, Kul Man Ghising was recruited as the Managing Director of NEA. At present, Kul Man Ghising is the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Chilime Hydropower Company Limited, and also Project Chief of Rahughat Hydroelectricity project. Since his involvement in Nepal Electricity Authority, Kathmandu valley has not suffered from load shedding which is a huge accomplishment for Nepal Electricity Authority. The demand for electricity increases from 7 percent to 8 percent every year which leads to electricity crisis. Similarly, the other causes of load shedding are higher electricity demand than the supply, incomplete hydropower projects, political instability, under efficiency of NEA, and natural calamities. In the last few years, NEA had wasted its money in the repairing and replacement of transformers. The substandard transformer cannot bear high loads and tends to explode. Similarly, the other reasons of load shedding are power leakage, venal motive, power pilferers, and tariff-defaulters. As per NEA sources, about 30 MW of power is lost through leakages. Keeping all the problem aside, Kul Man Ghising is able to manage the demand and supply system and is successful to eradicate load shedding from Kathmandu valley. According to Kul Man Ghising-, “Management of demand and supply, repairing of transformers and following the policy of optimum utilization of available electricity has made Kathmandu Valley free of load shedding.” Ghising’s focus would be on ending load shedding, improving the financial health of NEA and making Nepal self-reliant in energy. As a result, Nepali people do not have to spend their money in alternative power such as inverters and generators. Nepal Government spends billions of rupees on the import of POL products. Therefore, Nepal Government can invest that money in the construction of other hydropower projects. Many Nepali citizens and industries are benefited from the eradication of load shedding. Unfortunately, not all of them are pleased. Retailers selling inverters and generators have been badly affected. Thus, they have become threats to Kul Man Ghising. It is the duty of Nepali Government to provide security and protection to Kul Man Ghising as well as to his family. Nepali people must equally participate in motivating him and make him feel that we are there for him.