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“Political will ended load-shedding” 

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Pic: Gopen Rai

Translated excerpts of interview with Energy Minister Janardan Sharma in Himal Khabarpatrika (18-24 December)

Himal: So, no more load-shedding?

Janardan Sharma: It is now getting increasingly more difficult to supply 24-hour electricity, with water levels going down in rivers. But we are exploring multiple options to ensure that people’s joy will not turn into sorrow.

But how can we be sure?

The pace at which the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line has been built in the last two months is one reason. If we get this trans-boundary transmission line ready, we can import more electricity from India. But that will still be insufficient to meet demand, so we will add solar electricity to the national grid and promote energy-efficient LED bulbs. We are confident that we can supply 24-hour electricity even in the dry season.

How did you manage to provide Kathmandu with 24-hour electricity when others had failed?

A week after I became Energy Minister, I presented a 37-point workplan to end load-shedding. To implement it, I formed an expert panel to recommend ways to curb leakage and pilferage of electricity and repair transformers.

When I was President of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, I had opposed to selling cheap power to industries by forcing the people to live in darkness. I wanted to redistribute electricity, and called a meeting with industrialists, but they were not bothered to attend the meeting. When I became minister, I instructed the NEA to redistribute electriticioty, and that is how it happened.

But a lot of the framework had been laid by the former government.

The former government announced an energy emergency plan, but that was not implemented. Ending load-shedding was possible because of our political will. We formed a strong team and moved forward step by step.

But people are saying you did this by taking power from elsewhere to give it to the capital, and that you are draining Kulekhani.

It is not true that we have diverted to Kathmandu electricity from other places.  Kulekhani was built for peak power in winter, and it is not true that we cannot use water of the reservoir in other seasons.

Only hydroprojects with at least 51 per cent Indian investment in Nepal can now sell power to India. Is that true?

We have spoken to India’s energy minister about this issue. Our Foreign Affairs Ministry is also talking to India’s External Affairs Minister. We are committed to implement the Power Purchase Agreement between Nepal and India.


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2 Responses to ““Political will ended load-shedding” ”

  1. Shyam Thapa on Says:

    The present Government must be commended for ending load shedding . We, the residents of Kathmandu, should be extremely grateful to the incumbent Minister of Energy and NEA Chairman for taking such a pro-people step. We congratulate you on being so bold and breaking the nexus of the hoteliers, business people and industrialist. We need such people in the country to make Nepal great and shun and punish corrupt and dishonest bureaucrats and politicians and anti – people. We must boycott those who kept the people in the dark for decades.

  2. Yam Gurung on Says:

    India never wants Nepal to flourish.And following in the same footstep of their (British colonial master) and implement the “Divide & Rule” policy of the British mantra.
    #1 fact,insecurity, insitibility???…

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