NEA to plug leakages, warns of ‘blackout’

Kathmandu, February 1

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has sought help from the local administration to control electricity pilferage as per its plan to minimise distribution leakages.

Citing that organised groups are involved in electricity pilferage, NEA Managing Director Kul Man Ghising, has warned the concerned local administrations that the power utility will ‘black out’ those particular areas where electricity pilferage is alarming.

During the observation of some of the feeders located in the urban area of Lalitpur district, namely Lukhusi, Chyasal, Mangalbazar, Ikhalakhu, Dhalachhe, Saugal, Dupat, Pinchhe and Pilachhe, Ghising said that pilferage is high in those feeders.

He requested the local administration and locals to help control pilferage within 15 days and warned that if there is no substantive progress within the deadline, the power utility will be forced to cut power to that area.

Likewise, NEA has identified other places connected by the Godavari feeder of Lalitpur, namely Harisiddhi, Guhitole, Thaiba, Bandegaun and Lubhu. According to NEA, there is organised electricity pilferage in Sanagaun, Siddhipur, Lubhubazar, Lakuribhanjyang, Chapagaun, Sunakothi, Thecho and Lele, among others.

The aforementioned areas will face ‘blackout’ if the pilferage is not controlled.

“Around 50 per cent of the power supplied to the aforementioned areas is stolen,” said Ghising, adding, “This has been causing a loss of around Rs 500 million every year to the power utility.”

On the other hand, people of these areas involved in electricity pilferage through organised groups do not have safety measures for distribution, which might cause a grave mishap in those settlements, according to Ghising.

Hooking, tampering the meters and obstructing NEA staffers from reading the meters are the major challenges in these areas, according to Birendra Singh, chief of the Lagankhel distribution centre.

By the end of last fiscal, electricity leakage stood at around 22.9 per cent of the total supply. A portion of that leakage is due to technical losses, which NEA has been controlling through transmission and distribution system augmentation and upgradation.

NEA has plans to minimise leakage to 20 per cent of the total supply by the end of this fiscal and to 15 per cent within three years starting from this fiscal. Leakage in distribution has a huge share — around 16.82 per cent. NEA plans to minimise the loss by 3.64 percentage points in this fiscal to 13.18 per cent, according to the authority.