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NEA crippled

Thursday, December 24th, 2015
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At a time when Nepalis are reeling under a crippling power outage, the Nepal Electricity Authority has not been able to call its board meeting for the last four months.

Sources say Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi does not want the NEA to take any decisions before appointing a new Managing Director (MD).

“The minister believes that the NEA’s current MD Mukesh Raj Kafle is a Nepali Congress (NC) man, and he wants to replace him with someone he could trust,” a board member told Nepali Times. “But Kafle was chosen through an open competition.”

After India cut off supply of fuel citing violence in Nepal’s southern plains, Nepali started using electricity to cook meals. And Prime Minister KP Oli promised to end load-shedding in just one year.

But power outage is worsening — at least 12 hours a day now, and PM Oli has shown no interest in solving the tussle between Minister Rayamajhi and MD Kafle. The tussle that crippled the NEA is also delaying some major electricity development projects.

The NEA has failed to select contractors for construction of Koshi corridor transmission line (220 KW) and Solu corridor transmission Line (132 KW) due to uncertainty over the next board meeting.  The NEA was preparing to call tender for construction of Kaligandaki corridor (220 KW) and Tamakoshi-Kathmandu transmission (220-400 KW), but this process has also been delayed.

An Asian Development Bank (ADV)-funded project to develop a transmission line master plan has also failed to start due to delay in calling the NEA board meeting.

Lokmani Rai

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