Kathmandu, July 16
With the monsoon and floods affecting the consumption of electricity in the Tarai region and most of the industrial corridors, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said that import of electricity from India has fallen to 150 megawatts.
As per NEA, the demand for electricity had dropped to nearly 600 megawatts till Sunday and has gradually been rising now with the demand at present standing at 1,000 megawatts.
Electricity consumption in normal times is usually 1,200 MW to 1,300 MW.
According to Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for NEA, till today, the power utility had been importing only 150 MW of electricity from India through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line against the normal figure of around 400 MW.
Moreover, with incessant rain across the country, the country’s only reservoir dam in Kulekhani at present has ample supply of water. As the reservoir is nearly filled to the brim and since water could flow out of the facility, NEA is operating the project in a fullfledged manner and producing 92 megawatts of energy from the Kulekhani I hydropower project and its cascade project Kulekhani II to prevent overflow and possible dam fracture.
Adhikari further said that the level of water massively increased in the Kulekhani reservoir by 20.13 metres in between Thursday night and Sunday. In the past years, the generation plants used to remain closed in the monsoon season so as to allow the reservoir to replenish, but this year the water level is at the maximum point from the very beginning of the monsoon, so it needs to be operated earlier, he added.
As per NEA’s records, the water level at the reservoir has increased by six centimetres per day from Monday till today and even after operating the power plants in full swing for 24 hours, the water level has dropped by only three centimetres.
As of Monday night, the water level at the Kulekhani reservoir stood at 1,526.05 metres. As the reservoir’s threshold capacity stands at 1,530 metres, the government has alerted people residing in Bhimphedi, Indrasarovar and Bagmati rural municipalities of Makawanpur, Hariharpurgadhi of Sindhuli and Bagmati Rural Municipality of Lalitpur, along with those living near water bodies in Sarlahi and Rautahat districts to remain safe.
A version of this article appears in print on July 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.