PANCHTHAR, May 24: Inconsistency in power supply has affected daily life of locals of Phidim -- the district headquarters of Panchthar -- and nearby villages.
Power supply to Phidim and other nearby villages has become irregular in recent days due to disturbance in central grid and distribution line. This has forced consumers to look for alternatives.
Locals say the negligence of Phidim Electricity Consumer Cooperatives, which looks after distribution in Phidim and surrounding areas, and officials of the local sub-station of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is the reason behind inconsistent power supply in the district.
Officials concerned have not taken any initiative to address the problem, they say.
According to local consumers, power supply is affected once it starts to rain. Similarly, power is cut at least two times in a day without giving any prior notice.
Deepak Bohara, a resident of Phidim, says power supply goes down whenever there is storm or big rainfall. “Power supply goes off when we need it the most. It has forced government offices and business enterprises to procure expensive backup systems,” he added.
There are three hydropower projects in Panchthar districts.
While NEA officials deputed at the sub-station say negligence of the employees of the cooperatives is to be blamed, cooperative employees point finger at the substation.
There are trees on the substation premises which touch wire whenever there is rainfall or storm, affecting power supply.
However, Umesh Yadav, a technician at the sub-station, says that there is no problem at the sub-station. “Disruption in power supply is due to technical glitches in the distribution center of the cooperative. The whole region has to face power cut problem if any fault arises in the distribution line. It takes a lot of time to discover the cause behind the power cut,” Yadav added.
Balram Bantawa, the chief of the cooperative, says problem has been seen in the 75-kiloemter distribution line between Ilam and Phidim. “Distribution network in the village area is also not strong,” he said.
The cooperative has distributed electricity from the central grid to over 5,000 households in Phidim and nearby villages.