Fear of Load Shedding

Is load shedding back? What is the NEA doing?

Published On: December 31, 2020 07:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

We refuse to believe that NEA that provided uninterrupted power supply for the last four years under the leadership of Kul Man Ghising cannot do so now.

Blip, blip, flickers, and the total darkness.  Residents in Kathmandu Valley and many parts of the country have faced this problem for quite some time, especially after Kul Man Ghising, the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity, completed his term and the new managing director was appointed in his place.  Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are awash with people raging against frequent power cuts. They are angry with NEA and the government.   ‘Are the days of darkness back?’ They are asking but there is nobody to answer them.

Power outage has become recurrent in Kathmandu. In some places, light goes off the whole day. Frantic and agitated, people make calls to the respective no-light stations of the NEA but the phone is rarely picked up, people end up raging against and cursing the NEA and the government.

 There is a genuine reason for people to be angry and to blame the government and the NEA authorities.  First, as long as Kul Man Ghising was the NEA chief, Kathmandu had not faced the power outage. Besides, Kul Man Ghising would assure the people that there would never be a load shedding in Nepal again.  But then Ghising’s term came to an end, and there was a huge public demand to continue him for the second term as well.  Youths hit the streets demanding that Ghising, reverently called Nepal’s light man, should be allowed to serve the second term too. But the government had someone else in mind.   It appointed Hitendra Dev Shakya as the officiating managing director of NEA. Power outage has become more frequent right after Shakya took office.

The frequent power outage has also been seen as a game plan of inverter mafias, in collusion with the top level NEA officials, to increase the sales of inverters. If power cuts continue to become recurrent, desperate, people will resort to buying the inverters.

There seems to be a deliberate attempt to plunge the country back into darkness and the government does not seem to care about it at all. It is galling to note that PM himself was opposed to continue Ghising in NEA. In an interview with Nagarik network last week, the outgoing Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun stated that he had proposed to continue Ghising as NEA’s managing director but Prime Minister Oli flatly rejected his proposal.   Needless to say, it will be a disgrace on the new NEA management under Shakya and the government if the country returns to darkness. We refuse to believe that NEA that provided uninterrupted power supply for the last four years under the leadership of Kul Man Ghising cannot do so now. The Ministry of Energy and the Office of the Prime Minister should immediately work to ensure uninterrupted supply. If the frequent power cuts continue, we fear that people will take laws into their own hands, angry mobs might storm into NEA offices and resort to vandalism and for all these consequences no one else but NEA management and the government will be responsible.   

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