Taplejung folks Ktm-bound in search of energy

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    PHIDIM: 

    nepal_TaplejungA group of people from Taplejung has set on a journey to the Capital city Kathmandu in order to knock hard at the doors of government and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) alike.

    The locals were forced to measure the distance of two days to the centre after their longstanding woes related to lack of electricity in the district failed to attract the attention of concerned authorities.

    Locals have said they would ask the authorities to join Taplejung with National Transmission Line, thereby bringing the district within the radar of state’s regular electricity supply.

    Taplejung district has been reeling under the acute shortage of energy as the load shedding hours extend as long as 22 hours in a day. The district does not have any other alternative except the 56 KW energy produced by a local hydel project. Although the locals get electricity supply for two hours in a day, the electricity tariff – Rs 25 per Unit – is one of the highest rates in the country.

    The locals had been running a diesel plant to manage electricity supply until a couple of months ago. However, after the plant generating 250 KW energy went kaput, the major source of electricity was cut off. The local authorities lack funds to repair the diesel plant.

    A team led by Taranath Ghimire, Chairman of the Taplejung chapter of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) left for Kathmandu from Phidim of Panchthar this morning. The delegation had left home district Taplejung on Saturday.

    “Lack of electricity has kept all of us at receiving end,” said Ghimire. “It has hampered local businesses, industries and the operation of other offices as well.”

    Similarly, local Suraj Ojha said the Taplejung folks have repeatedly requested the local authorities to take their problems to the centre, but all in vain. “After all our outcries failed on deaf ears of the state authorities, we decided to step up on our own,” he said.

    According to Ojha, the team, after arriving in Kathmandu, will also include the members of the Constituent Assembly (CA), who were elected from Taplejung. The team will then meet Prime Minister, Energy Minister, among other stakeholders concerned with the distribution of electricity line.

    Source : The Himalayan Times