Youth outrage against power outage

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    KATHMANDU:

    studying In darkHundreds of youth, including students, today launched a campaign against the ongoing power crisis in the city.
    They took out a rally from Maitighar that passed through Tripureshwor and Teku before staging a demonstration at the Ratnapark-based head office of the Nepal Electricity Authority demanding an end to the power outage in the Capital.

    According to Pratik Raj Pathak, a campaigner, they have demanded reduction in outage hours particularly in the evening in view of School Leaving Certificate and Higher Secondary Education Board examinations.

    Protesters also urged the government to launch programmes together with the public to control power leakage, to distribute and encourage the use of CFL bulbs instead of LED bulbs, which consumes more electricity, and to encourage the use of alternative resources like solar energy.

    They have also called the authorities to make old hydropower projects operational and complete new projects at the earliest.

    On January 13, a student union had launched a sit-in at the NEA office, demanding measures to tap alternative energy sources to end a prolonged outage in the Capital.

    The 12-hour daily power cut has adversely affected local industries, business activities, communications, and students the most. People from different walks of life, frustrated at the long loadshedding hours, have also pledged their support for the campaign. The weekly outage in the Capital city stands at 80 hours. As per the new schedule, the Kathmandu Valley faces 12-hour outage a day for three days and 11-hours daily outage for four days in a week.

    NEA, the state-owned power monopoly, however, said outage hours might go up further in coming days due to decrease in discharge in the rivers. The government had announced at one time to limit load-shedding to 12 hours per day this year.

    Despite an abundance of water resources, power generation and supply scenario has been worsening in the country for the past several years.

    The power crisis deepens during the dry months, thanks to the absence of reservoir type hydropower projects.

    A prolonged political instability in the country has deterred investors from investing in mega hydropower projects.

    Meanwhile, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Krishna Hari Banskota has directed stakeholders to speed up the process for construction of a power house and transmission line distribution of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. The hydro project will produce 456-MW.

    Campaigners’ demands

    • Youth campaigners have demanded reduction in outage hours particularly in the evening in view of School Leaving Certificate and Higher Secondary Education Board examinations

    • They say the government should launch programmes together with the public to control power leakage, to encourage use of energy-efficient CFL bulbs, and to promote use of alternative resources

    • They have authorities should make old hydropower projects operational and complete new projects at the earliest

    Source : The Himalayan Times