Despite a slight easing of power cuts, NEA is warning us to brace ourselves for more to come. The worst hit have been hospitals, which do not have independent power feeds and inadequate generator capacity.
The government has promised around-the-clock power supply for major government hospitals, but smaller private hospitals and their patients have been struck hard. Treatment has to be delayed, or worse, rejected.
PICS: KONG YEN LIN
COSTLY BUSINESS: Lokhit Dental Hospital, which opened nine months ago, spent Rs 150,000 on a generator. "But it is too expensive to run the generators all day, so we run it only for four hours," says dentist Drabesh Jha as he gives nine-year-old Rahul Rauniyar a checkup.
BETTER OFF: Bir Hospital, the oldest and largest hospital in Nepal with a 119-year-history, has sufficient generators and UP Lights which starts automatically when darkness falls. Only the emergency wards, haemodialysis, operating theatre, ICU and post operative wards have 24 hours of electricity, says nurse Kalpalata Subba (second from left) as she inspects back-up batteries in the ward.
RUNNING AGAINST TIME: Nursing interns from the Himalaya Nursing Campus filling medicine at Teku hospital in the evening while light is still available. "The emergency lights can last five hours but there's not enough electricity to charge them," says staff nurse Madhu Ghimire (right).
NOT SMILING: Dentists at Smile Dental Clinic in Kupondole have nothing to do during power cuts. "Patients have to be turned away or treatment delayed while the power is out," says dentist Anita Sharma (right).