Ministries join forces to fight electricity theft


    Jun 14, 2018-The Energy and Home ministries are teaming up to prevent electricity theft. Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa met on Wednesday and agreed to launch a joint campaign to curb power theft which accounts for a major portion of the distribution losses amounting to 20 percent of output.

    The two ministries agreed to direct the agencies and organizations under their jurisdiction to coordinate with each other to control electricity theft that is rampant in various districts. The plan is to make the district offices of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) coordinate with the district administration offices (DAO) of various districts while taking action against those involved in electricity theft.

    As part of the scheme, the branch offices of the NEA and the DAO of the particular district will make a joint work plan which includes booking those involved in electricity theft, according to the NEA.

    Currently, the state-owned power utility is losing 20.06 percent of the electricity generated. According to the NEA estimate, around one-fourth of the total loss is due to theft and it can be minimised. As per the government’s instructions, the power utility is planning to bring down leakage to 15 percent by controlling electricity theft. The NEA has to bring down the leakage to 15 percent within three years, as per the target given by the Energy Ministry.

    Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising and Inspector General of Nepal Police Sarbendra Khanal were also present at the meeting. The conference also decided to direct the NEA and the DAO to work together while acquiring land to develop hydropower projects.

    The DAO of a particular district is the designated government authority to acquire private land to develop public infrastructure projects. At times, lack of adequate human resources at the DAO has hampered the land acquisition process, pushing back the construction date of various hydropower projects.

    Similarly, the Home Ministry also agreed to provide additional security upon request to the projects that are owned or operated or are under construction by agencies under the Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI). The Home Ministry also vowed to take action against those who are involved in irregularities and negligence while developing projects owned by the MoEWRI.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post