BARA, April 5: The plan to import electricity for Birgunj-Pathlaiya Industrial Corridor from India via the newly-built Parwanipur-Raxaul Transmission Line is not materializing.
The 132 Kv cross-border transmission line was built to provide interrupted power supply to the biggest industrial corridor in the country. But power import is yet to begin even though it has already been one and half months since trial run of the transmission system was conducted, according to Laxmi Narayan Mukhiya, chief of the project. Seventeen kilometers of the transmission line lies in Nepal, while remaining five kilometers is in India, he added.
The transmission line was constructed with the grant assistance of Rs 130 million from the Indian government. It supports import of up to 70 MW of electricity.
“We can import around 70 MW from this transmission line. It will be sufficient to end load-shedding in the industrial corridor,” Mukhiya said, adding, “The government should take needful initiative for importing electricity via the transmission line at the earliest as the industrial corridor has been facing powers cut of up to eight hours per day.”
Pawan Gupta, promoter of Jagadamba Steels of Jitpur, said long load-shedding has increased cost of production of his industry. “We are facing power cut between 1 pm and 8 pm. This is the main working hour of employees,” he said, adding that factories have been paying salary to laborers even if they do nothing during power cuts.
Pradip Kedia, former president of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI), said that political leaders had promised local industrialists that the industrial corridor would get uninterrupted power supply once the transmission line is built. “They had told us that 50 MW would be imported immediately. Even the Minister for Energy and Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had expressed commitment to resolve energy that the corridor has been facing,” he said, adding: “But such promises turned mere pipe dream.”
The industrial corridor needs around 200 MW to ensure uninterrupted supply. But it is getting only around 80 MW at present.
There are more than 1,000 small and big industries in Birgunj-Pathlaiya Industrial Corridor.