KATHMANDU, Aug 13: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said it spent about Rs 48 billion in the past two years on infrastructure related to distribution and maintenance of electricity supply.
The state-owned power utility has been reeling under the pressure to manage necessary funds to upgrade its supply system at a time when the distribution of electricity has been poor, mainly due to outdated infrastructure. With the problem in its place, the consumers have been facing frequent problems of tripping, industries have been undergoing undeclared load shedding and the produced electricity is going into wastage.
Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA, said the aforementioned amount was utilized in construction, maintenance and upgrading of electrical infrastructure during the fiscal years 2021/22 and 2022/23. According to him the amount was spent on transmission mechanisms that include construction, maintenance and upgradation of distribution lines and substations.
NEA has estimated that Nepal needs an investment of Rs 800 billion for the improvement in electricity supply across the country. Ghising, in a number of public programs, has been reiterating that Nepal will face massive problems in electricity supply if the government does not take the initiative to invest in expansion of transmission lines on time.
In order to cope with the increasing electricity demand with the increase in population density, the authority has set a deadline of 2050 and advanced the process of construction of transmission and distribution infrastructure in the major areas of the valley in a phased manner.
The NEA said it has taken forward the improvement and strengthening of the infrastructure of the system to address consumers’ grievances. The construction of 400 kV, 220 kV and 132 kV transmission lines and substations are in progress at different phases, in line with meeting the projected demand for electricity in 11 major cities of the country including Kathmandu Valley by 2050.
As of now, 5,742 km of circuit lines and 8,867 MVA substations are in operation. In the past two years, 17 substations with 2500 MVA capacity have come into operation. A total of 54 substations are under construction.
During the period, the NEA distributed more than 40,000 units of reading meters free of cost to the poor families. In addition, the authority has set up call centers in every province to address customers’ complaints.
The records with the NEA show about 95 percent of households now have access to electricity. Out of these, all the people in Madhes, Bagmati and Gandaki provinces have full access to electricity. Koshi Province has 95 percent electrification, Lumbini Province has 98 percent electrification, Karnali Province has 67 percent electrification and Sudurpashchim Province has achieved 82 percent electrification.
Source : Republica