Nepal will never experience load-shedding again: Kulman Ghising

Published On: September 26, 2020 09:25 AM NPT By: Anjali Subedi

Energy Minister Barshaman Pun has urged the people not to worry about the current power cuts as ‘that is just a temporary inconvenience due to incessant rains'

KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Amid growing concerns whether load-shedding is creeping back with his exit, the 'light man' Kulman Ghising, the erstwhile managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), said such fears will never come true anytime soon in Nepal. 

Talking to Republica on Thursday, Ghishing said there is no chance of the country experiencing load-shedding again as it now has enough power supply which will only increase further in the days to come. 

"I have also heard of power cuts in some places. People have related it with my exit from NEA. But that is not true," said Ghishing. "Nepal will never face load-shedding again. The country is bound to get richer in terms of power supply in the days ahead." 

While suspecting that some people must be spreading false rumors, Ghishing said both those who have faced power cuts and those who have not are making false claims about the problem. "We should not trust everyone's claim blindly. People write anything on social media. I have also heard that inverters and batteries have been imported.  It is far from the truth," he maintained. 

Ghising said the incessant rainfall does affect power supply and more so when problems are not fixed on time. There might have been some slackness in NEA's maintenance works due to the coronavirus pandemic and absence of some staffers. "Rains may damage poles, transformers and current flow. We have to be mindful of these things. And when problems are not fixed instantly, power cuts may continue for a longer time," he further said, while admitting possible laxity in the managerial part. 

Similarly, Energy Minister Barshaman Pun also urged people not to worry about the current power cuts as ‘that's just a temporary inconvenience due to incessant rains'. Minister Pun said power supply will be quite smooth as soon as some technical faults are fixed.  

He also assured that the people won't have to worry anymore as he has already directed the NEA officials to address power woes without any further delay. He also stated that he's aware of the fears being expressed by the people over social media. "It's not load-shedding, not at all. Load-shedding won't take place," he said. 

Several parts of the Kathmandu Valley including Kirtipur, Maharajgunj and Patan faced unusual power cuts in the last few days. Similarly, Chitwan, far west and the eastern region in the country also did not experience smooth power supply like during 'Ghishing's time.' 

"I am not convinced that it's not the beginning of undeclared load shedding. If people stay silent politicians can do anything," warned Haris Adhikari, a lecturer of English at Kathmandu University. He had to compromise with his online class due to unreliable power supply in recent days. 

"We would take online classes even in the past. But this became imperative after the pandemic hit the country. Power supply was fine until Kulman Ghising was in office. If we say it's due to rain, I have experienced frequent power cuts even on a sunny day," he fumed over the phone on Friday. 

Adhikari's students hail from across the country and most of them complain of power issues these days. "My online class would be attended by around 50 students daily but now only half of them appear online due to power cuts. If things do not improve in a few days, you can be fully sure that something wrong is happening at the NEA," said Adhikari, who resides near the university. 

There is a strong demand for a second term of Ghishing as the MD of the NEA as the general public seems to doubt if the government would appoint an official competent enough to head the NEA. A large number of youths have even hit the streets across the country. Before Ghishing took charge of the NEA four years ago, the country faced 'chronic load-shedding' -- up-to 18 hours a day of power cuts even in major cities.


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