KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said the government plans to declare hydropower as a high priority sector.
Addressing the annual progress evaluation of the Ministry of Energy of the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 and meeting of the minister level Development Problems Resolution Committee, he urged the authorities concerned to prepare a roadmap to move ahead by integrating water resources and energy.
Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said the evaluations made by the ministries would have no meaning at all unless the general public got electricity in their houses and stressed for moving ahead making current, mid-term and long-term policies.
He said there is no alternative of importing power from India immediately to curb the power-cut hours to 10- hours daily in the winter season this year and directed constructing and repairing inter-country transmission lines in Nepal-India border areas.
Dr. Bhattarai said he held talks with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Tehran and claimed that he had received information that Singh has taken the talks seriously and urged the bodies concerned to this effect. He further said, “Don’t only complain of budget and manpower, just prepare the transmission lines, it is my responsibility to bring power to decrease load-shedding hours this winter season.”
He said power import, supply management of internal production and leakage control should be kept on priority and criticized that there was no condition to be satisfied on the evaluation as no remarkable progress was seen in decreasing load-shedding problem.
The PM said “No progress was seen in the energy sector as expected. Though the government had the target of 100 MW for the Fiscal Year 2011/2012, only 10 MW was generated and achievement has been nil while it has the target of constructing 400 kms of transmission lines.”
“Let’s not impede the Karnali, Dudhkoshi, Budhigandaki, Narsingghat, Uttarganga, among other hydro power projects as they are compulsory, let’s forward the process for the large hydel projects,” said Dr. Bhattarai.
“Building new Nepal without the development of energy sector is not possible, therefore, the officials at the Ministry and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) should be responsible for public, society and national interests instead of giving priorities for personal interest alone,” he added.
PM Dr Bhattarai said indicating the political parties that now is the time for development politics and warned that if any party prefers other ways they will themselves perish, adding that the political transition in the country will sooner or later be settled.
During the programme, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Dharanidhar Khatiwada urged the Ministry of Energy and NEA to find out the problems and submit report for the solutions.
On the occasion, Energy Secretary Hareram Koirala said among the 30 projects, half of them have completed around 80 per cent of work.
Similarly, Secretary at the Water Resources and Energy Commission, Bishwa Prakash Pandit, reported that the achievement in the water resources and energy sectors could not be made due to manpower and weak economic condition.
The government has distributed licenses for around 15,000 run-of-the-river projects.
The country has been producing 700 mw of power in the rainy season and 350 in winter season while the demand is for 1,000 mw.
Source : RSS