Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nepal is "power-cut free" after decades, says senior diplomat

Smart management of power distribution and the "generosity" of India in providing additional supply contributed in ensuring "power cut free Nepal" in the year 2017 after about two decades, a senior Nepal diplomat has said here.
"Last two decades we suffered enough due to prolonged power crisis and load shedding. Hardship is a great educator but superb management of power distribution and use by the new team at the Nepal Electricity Authority, additional power generation and generosity by India in terms of supply of additional 120 Mega Watt of electricity helped see no power cut this year. It is a miracle and a great achievement," Hari Prasad Odari, Political Counsellor in Nepal Embassy here, told UNI here.

He said during last 10-15 years, Nepal experienced huge power shortage and prolonged load shedding both in rural and urban pockets.
"The power cut used to be for about 12-14 hours and at times even more. But in the year 2017, there was a miracle with no power cut," he said, adding this has been possible due to three major factors -- one of them being efficacy of the new management of the Nepal Electricity Authority and of course this was well supported by enhanced indigenous production and additional power supply from India.

The role of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is unique in this endeavour, he said adding, "the new management at the NEA carried out effective power distribution and also did a successful campaign urging consumers to desist from misuse of power and avoiding running of high-power consuming units like washing machines and ACs during peak hours".
In this context, Mr Odari said the people of Nepal also responded positively and "hence there was a miracle" and officially there is no power cut this year.
However, he went on to add, "some power disturbances were there for short duration generally due to technical snag".Nepal's total requirement of power is about 1200 Mega Watt and there is domestic production of about 700 Mega Watt.
During the year, he said, the NEA also ensured enhanced power production of micro-hydel power projects.
To a question on Indian help to help the Himalayan country to come out of power crisis, Mr Odari said, "It was a generosity of a good friend - India; of course we purchased power and there was enhanced supply of about 120 Mega Watt ".
Things improved in last year and New Delhi's support came in more ways than one, he said, adding things have also changed towards a positive and more constructive phase after Prime Ministers of India and Nepal (in February 2016) inaugurated the first high capacity 400kV cross-border from Muzaffarpur project to Dhalkebar. 
This has generated additional flow of 80 Mega Watt of power - enhancing the total power supply from India to Nepal to about 320 Mega Watt.

The Political Counsellor further said Nepal is working tirelessly to enhance power production and by next two years, it can achieve the target of a "power-surplus country".
Moreover, he said commissioning of 400 KV substation at Dhalkebar would enable operation of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar line at its rated voltage, leading to increase in power transfer to Nepal by 300-400 MW.
According to reports, the Government of India is also working with Nepal to supply power through two more radial 132 KV lines — Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kataiya-Kushaha.
Among future projects, Mr Odari said two private sector constructed power projects with each 900 Mega Watt power generation would be coming up soon.
For one to be constructed and developed by government-run mini-Ratna SJVN Limited, he said the government of India has already sanctioned Rs 5,723.72 crore for the project at Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal.Similarly, the GMR Group is pleased to announce the finalization and execution of the Project Development Agreement for the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydro Power.
Such power projects would reinforce the strong ties between India and Nepal as development of these will be a beneficial for both countries leveraging on each other’s strengths and resources.
Meanwhile, another ambitious Indo-Nepal power project at Pancheshwar in Champawat district, initially proposed in 198Os is also gaining pace.
This project is expected to generate about 6000 Mega Watt of electricity, Mr Odari said.

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