Dedicated trunk line dispute: Go through review if arrears are not paid

Published On: August 6, 2021 01:00 PM NPT By: Himal Lamsal

KATHMANDU, August 6: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has advised the industrialists and businessmen to pay the arrears for consuming electricity from the trunk line and dedicated feeder or go through the legal process for a review. According to NEA, the industrialists and businessmen have not paid around Rs 10 billion for electricity from trunk lines and dedicated feeders.

NEA Managing Director Hitendra Dev Shakya requested the industrialists and businessmen to pay the arrears or choose legal remedy. "No one benefits from having disputes over dedicated and trunk lines for years," he said. “Industrialists and businessmen should either pay the overdue amount or end the dispute by going through the legal process.”

Shakya said that the dispute between the dedicated and the trunk line is getting heated and should be resolved together. "We are not in a position to tell the industrialists and businessmen to pay the arrears by shutting their industries down," he said. “They should pay what they owe by following the legal process.”

He suggested the industrialists review the matter in the court, Electricity Regulatory Commission and NEA. “The dispute could have been resolved if the industrialists and businessmen had completed the legal process. There is a problem when they are refusing to comply,” said Shakya.

Arjun Karki, former secretary and former managing director of NEA,  said the conflict between the power supply utility and the country's industrialists will not benefit anyone. He said that it was sad to have different views on this issue. “There is a difference of opinion between the head of the authority and the changed ministers on the issue of dedicated and trunk line arrears. There are also many problems between the surveillance agencies,” he said. “Only formation of committees took place regarding this issue but no committee could solve the problem.”

Former Secretary Karki said that such committees have given conflicting reports. He suggested that the Prime Minister and the cabinet find out the root cause of the problem. "What is the principle behind levying additional charges for using dedicated and trunk lines? Has electricity been supplied on that basis?" he said. “If this facility is brought with a good purpose, then the dispute should be settled by assessing the benefits.”

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry has been of the opinion that the electricity rate should be levied only on those who consume the prescribed amount of electricity during load shedding from the structure and not on the dedicated feeder and trunk line group industrial customers.

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