February 29, 2020 11:34 AM NPT
By: Rekha Bhusal
BUTWAL, Feb 29: Entrepreneurs of Rupandehi have warned of protest after the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) issued a 35-day notice to submit the dues stating that the entrepreneurs of the Butwal-Bhairahawa industrial corridor were supplied electricity through the trunk line.
The entrepreneurs have stated that they are not ready to pay the dues because they did not ask for the trunk line and have warned of shutting down the factories and industries in the corridor. The NEA had issued a 35-day notice to pay the dues for the trunk line on February 20 to twenty one entrepreneurs of the Butwal-Bhairahawa industrial corridor. The NEA has already received the industrial dues but it has issued an ultimatum to pay 66% more dues claiming that they had supplied the electricity through the trunk line.
Organizing a press conference in Rupandehi on Thursday, the entrepreneurs said that they have already paid the dues according to the NEA's rule and are unable to pay the additional amount at any cost. Chandraman Shrestha, an entrepreneur at the corridor said that, there has been no agreement with the NEA regarding the trunk line. “How did the trunk line we never asked for get connected?” he questioned, “If they had supplied the electricity through the trunk line, then why were we not informed about it and asked for the amount sooner?”
Navaraj Shrestha, an entrepreneur at the corridor said that the NEA was being hard on industrialists who have been using the regular line for the past 40 years. President of the Siddarthanagar chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Kul Prasad Neupane said that, the authority is causing terror among the industrialists in the name of trunk line. “Industrialists cannot be held responsible for the mistake committed by the NEA staff and the entrepreneurs in the corridor don't need the trunk line,” he added.
Debendra Sahoo, general manager at Panchakanya Group claimed that, while the NEA is asking for the dues for the usage of trunk line, the entrepreneurs had to suffer damage of more than Rs 30 million due to irregular electricity supply and tripping.
Rupandehi FNCCI president, Baburam Bohora said that, it was not legal for the NEA to ask for additional fees saying that the power was supplied through the trunk line when the supply was irregular. “The industries have already completed auditing and it is hard for the industries to pay the additional amount,” Bohora added.
The entrepreneurs have warned of protest if their demands are not met because they don't need the trunk line for power supply.