Government Mediates: NEA Reconnects Electricity to All Industries Despite Arrears

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KATHMANDU, Jan 15: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has reconnected electricity supply to all 23 industries that have not paid dues for trunk and dedicated lines. A meeting of the board of directors of the NEA on Friday decided to reconnect the electricity lines to the industries.

NEA Deputy Managing Director Manoj Silwal said that the lines were reconnected following a decision of the Council of Ministers. The NEA also received  a letter from the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation on Friday regarding the cabinet decision.

“Electricity supply was restored to all the 23 industries by Friday midnight,” Deputy Managing Director Silwal said, adding, “We restored electricity supply after the government decided to form an inquiry committee to resolve the dispute related to the trunk and dedicated lines.”

A board member of the NEA said that a meeting of the board of directors of the NEA on Friday decided to connect the industrial lines according to the decision of the council of ministers.

Following the meeting of the board of directors, the NEA instructed its regional and distribution centers to connect the industrial lines. Accordingly, the offices have reconnected the electricity lines.

The meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Tuesday has decided to form a committee under the leadership of former Justice Girish Chandra Lal to investigate the issues regarding the tariff of dedicated and trunk lines. The same meeting of the Council of Ministers decided to give instructions to reconnect the electricity lines to the industries.

The arrears of a total of 61 industries that have consumed electricity using the dedicated and trunk lines stand at Rs 22.24 billion as of mid-December.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had directed the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation on December 21 to collect the outstanding amount of electricity by disconnecting the lines of the industrialists who used tank lines and dedicated lines.

Upon Prime Minister Dahal’s instructions, the NEA cut the lines of four industries with over one billion rupees in arrears on December 22.

The dispute between the industrialists and the authority escalated after the NEA cut off the line of the industries who did not pay their dues.

The industrialist who did not pay the arrears of the trunk and dedicated line stated that they would pay the electricity bills only if NEA provided them with the TOD meter data.

The authority, however, reconnected the electricity lines in 22 days after disconnecting the lines.