KATHMANDU, Sept 15: The four-year term of Kulman Ghising as the managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) expired on Sunday, winning the hearts and minds of people across the country. People started calling him the 'light man' as he was able to end the chronic problem of power outage, commonly known as ‘load-shedding’, once and for all.
He also transformed the once-bankrupt NEA into a profit-making public utility. A Cabinet meeting held on September 16, 2016 had appointed Ghising as the NEA's chief executive at the recommendation of the then energy minister Janardan Sharma.
With the question whether Ghising will be reappointed for the job still unanswered, despite immense public pressure for the same, it is perhaps worth-remembering his 10 major achievements in his four-year term.
1. Thanks to the efficient management of Kulman Ghising, there was no load-shedding in the Kathmandu Valley on the day of Laxmi Puja in October, 2016. This was a rare case before as there is huge power demand on this day of the Tihar festival.
2. In the months that followed, Ghising declared Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bharatpur loadshedding-free zones, one after another. He also declared Nepal as a load-shedding free country in April, 2018 by ensuring adequate supply of electricity to the industries as well.
3. NEA’s accumulated loss stood at Rs 34.60 billion in fiscal year 2015/16 (2072/73 BS). In his four-year term in office, Ghising not only reduced the loss to zero, but also turned it into a profit-making entity with an accumulated profit of Rs 4.86 billion.
4. The NEA was in loss of Rs 8.89 billion until fiscal year 2015/16 (2072/73 BS). But this public utility company has been transformed into a profit-making state-owned enterprise with an accumulated profit of Rs 11 billion.
5. Electricity leakage stood at more than one fourth of NEA’s total power supply. Ghising has brought that down to 15.27 percent from 25.78 percent.
6. Per capita electricity consumption has reached 250 units, up from 131 units four years ago.
7. Access to electricity increased by nearly one-fourth of the total households in the country in Ghising’s four-year term. Four years ago, only 62.16 percent of households in the country had access to electricity. That figure stands at 86.44 percent today.
8. NEA imported 1.77 billion units of electricity from India in fiscal year 2015/16, spending Rs 13.12 billion. Four years later, the country imported only 1.72 billion units of the total 7.74 billion units of electricity consumed in the country.
9. NEA could complete the construction of Chameliya Hydropower Project (15 MW), Upper Trishuli III A Hydropower Project (60 MW) and Kulekhani Reservoir-based Hydropower Project (14MW).
10. Until fiscal year 2015/16, hydroelectricity projects with the power generation of 801 MW were in operation across Nepal. But now, this has increased by 57 percent, taking the total power generation capacity of the country to 1257 MW. Dozens of power projects with a total capacity of around 3,000 MW are currently under-construction.