Very soon Kathmandu’s temperature will go below the freezing point and people here will be shivering with cold in the dark nights owing to power cuts
Nepal is second richest country in the whole globe in terms of hydro resources. It has a huge theoretical potential for hydropower, estimated to be in the region of 83 000 MW and the economically feasible potential is assessed at 42 000 MW. However, it has only produced 600 MW. Owing to the lack of financial resources, most of the people are forced to live under darkness in Nepal. Less than 3% of Nepal’s rural population has access to electricity whereas the total population having access to electricity amounts nearly to 20%.
(Continue to find the load shedding schedule for the valley.)
Despite such an abundant hydro potential, Nepalese pay one of the highest electricity tariffs in the world and highest in South Asian region. But still, Nepalese who have access to electricity are still not getting sufficient power supply.
Kathmandu, the capital city’s temperature has gone down to three degree Celsius and it will soon go below the freezing point. It reached 0.4 below the freezing point last year. At the meantime, they will have to shiver with cold owing to the power cuts. It’s embarrassing to say that power will be cut because of power shortage.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is enforcing power cuts of two-and-a-half hours per household per week beginning Monday. The power cuts will be enforced across the nation which will increase every month. In February, one of the coldest months, Nepal is likely to face power cuts for nearly 40 hours per week per household.
The NEA is already facing with power shortage of some 48 megawatts. The electricity demand is increased by 10% this year and is likely to increase further in coming years. The NEA has the 48MW single hydro project; Mid Marsyangdi under construction. Mid Marsyangdi was likely to come under operation by now. However, owing to continuous disputes between the constructors and workers and Maoist disturbances in the past days, it has been delayed by two years. Even if Mid Marshyangdi came under operation in 2008, it is not even likely to fill the existing power shortage, let alone future shortages.
The NEA is the sole owner of hydro power in the country. It has the monopoly over production and distribution of hydro power in the country. The private sector has been asking to open up power sector for it. However, it has not been possible to challenge the monopoly of NEA. The private sector has been blaming the monopoly of NEA for higher electricity tariffs, which hasn’t been sufficiently quelled by the NEA.
Though, the government formed after the success of popular movement has multiple viable new projects, none of their work has been started. The 309 MW Upper Tamakoshi has been much talked as the cheapest in terms of construction. The government this November decided that it will construct the project on its own resources which is estimated to cost 30 billion rupees. Still there is long way to go even for the construction of Upper Tamakoshi. And Nepalese are more vulnerable to power cuts for more hours in the future. According to NEA’s prediction, the nation will face progressively worse power cuts during dry seasons at least till 2012 even if a major project enters construction immediately.
Load shedding Schedule inside the valley:
Sunday: Mangal Bazaar and Pulchowk of Lalitpur, Tripureshow, Baneshwor, Bagmati, Koteshwor, Airport, Jorpati, Sankhu, Lazimpat, Tahachal, Thapathali, Kamaladi, Basbari and Khichapokhari.
Monday: Imadol of Lalitpur, Byasi and Gothatar of Bhaktapur, Pharping, Thankot, Naya Bazaar, Maha Boudha, Budhanilakantha, Kalikasthan of Kathmandu.
Tuesday: Patan Bazaar and Godavari of Lalitpur, Kalimati, Naxal, Om Hospital, Swayambhu, Asan and Baluwatar and Sanga of Bhaktapur.
Wednesday: Patan Ring Road, Sanepa of Lalitpur, Tahachal, New Airport, Dhobikhola, Danchhi, Keshar Mahal, Samakhusi, Tripureshwor of Kathmandu and Sallaghari, Khawa of Bhaktapur.
Thursday: Saibu of Lalitpur, Old Airport, Battisputali, Tangal, Sundarijal, Kings Way, BID Bishnumati, Kalanki, Gangabu, New Road, Anamnagar of Kathmandu, Katunje, Nalin Chowk of Bhaktapur.
Friday: Bhimsensthan, Pashupati Temple area, Thamel, Radio Nepal, Dharmasthali, Bagbazaar of Kathmandu, Nagarkot of Bhaktapur, Lubhu and Balkumari of Lalitpur.
Saturday: Chapagaun and Jawalakhel of Lalitpur Kirtipur, Shankhamul, Mahankal, Gairidhara, Balambu, Swayambhu, Bhotebahal and Putalisadak of Kathmandu, Thimi and Golphutar of Bhaktapur.
The valley will face load shedding from 5 to 7:30pm while outside the valley it will last from 5:30 to 8:30pm. NEA notice stated that the load shedding would be scheduled from 5:15pm to 7:45pm in eastern region of the country. Mid and far western regions will face power cut for 40 minutes on the evening.