CHITWAN, JULY 24: The locals of Madi are frustrated as they have been living without electricity since last Thursday. The underground wiring system, installed in the National Park Area, has not been functioning properly, leading to the power outage.
After being launched on January 20, 2015, the substation has been facing technical difficulties in distributing electricity to the households due to its underground wires being short-circuited. After being repaired, the locals started receiving electricity from the National Transmission Grid since last September.
“There would be minutes-long problems before. However, since June, we faced some major glitches.” said Arabi Yadav, chief of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Bharatpur Distribution Center. The Authority brought technicians and accessories from India but they were facing the same problem within a month.
Yadav said that now technicians from Kathmandu have been called in to solve the problem and if that doesn’t work then they will seek help from New Delhi. The underground wires inside the National Park have connections on seven sides which have all been problematic on several occasions.
In 1999, electricity poles and wires were installed in Madi but they were soon damaged. Solar energy was introduced and ever since they have been using solar power to light their homes. The electricity project was introduced in 2009 to provide electricity to nearly 11 thousand households. Their plan to complete the project within 2012 did not materialize as it was completed in 2014. But soon, problems in its underground wiring system led to power outages.
The transmission grid was brought from Chanauli to Madi to kick-start the project. Since the distance between Chanauli and the substation in Madi covers around 8 km of the National Park, underground wiring was done to prevent any environment or wildlife problems.
Nearly Rs 120 million has been spent on this project. An Indian company named NJ Link Pvt Ltd was provided a contract to install the underground wiring system. The locals have complained that the work done by the project is not up to the mark.
Mayor of Madi Municipality, Thakur Dhakal said, “The underground wiring system has caused a lot of problems for the people here and if we continue to use this system then we will still be living in obscurity.”
“We need to assess the environmental impact but also realize that underground wiring system does not work here,” said Dhakal, adding that wires must be attached to poles instead of underground wiring. Currently, nearly 4,000 households are provided electricity, according to the chief of Bharatpur Distribution Center, Arabi Yadav.
Source : Republica