BHAIRAHAWA, August 5: At a time when Ministry of Energy (MoE) and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) have launched a campaign to end load-shedding, long power cuts and erratic power supply is affecting daily life of Rupandehi locals.
They have even taken to the streets to protest against the ministry and the NEA.
Rupandehi is facing daily power cuts of six hours at present. Locals are also affected by high and low voltage supply.
Though locals have been protesting at the NEA offices, the power utility has not been able to provide them interrupted power supply.
Three months ago, Munindra Thakur, chief of Bhairahawa Distribution Center of NEA, had assured locals that power supply will improve once water level increases in river in the monsoon season. He had also assured locals that preparation was underway to supply electricity to Rupandehi districts from national grid by July. But it did not happen.
Fed up by erratic power supply, locals of Kanchhi Bazaar, Semara Bazaar, Kanpara and Gangoliya area protested against the NEA some days ago.
NEA has been supply electricity to these areas from Bharaulia substation. As the supply became erratic for more than a week, they registered complaint at the local office of the NEA. They took to the street after the NEA did not show any response on their complaint. They even locked the sub-branch office of NEA at Naya Mill area. This caused scuffle between the locals and the police. Fifteen locals and four police personnel were injured incident.
The problem is severe in Bhairahawa, Lumbini and places where NEA is supplying electricity from Bharaulia substation. Not only general commoners, industries and business houses have also been affected by the irregular power cuts. Because of erratic power supply, industries have been forced to scale down their production.
Madhav Lal Devkota, secretary of Tilottama Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said some industries have shut down, while many have not been able to operate to their full capacity due to power cuts.
Officials of the NEA say that the problem of erratic supply was due to mismatch between supply and demand as well as ageing transformers and transmission line. “It can be only solved by our central office,” Munindra Thakur, chief of NEA's distribution center, said.
“Works to set up 16 MV transformer in Bhairahawa, 7.5 MV in Lumbini and 5MV in Bharaulia substation have already begun. “Power cuts will end in these areas once the transformers are installed. However, it will take some time to solve problem of tripping as it is caused by the transmission line,” he added.
The Butwal-Bhairahawa transmission line supports supply of only 320 ampere while there is demand for 500 amperes. Supply of more than 320 ampere during peak hours causes tripping, according to Thakur.