Pilferers bleeding NEA white

Bhaktapur, March 14:

Pilferers are virtually bleeding the Bhaktapur Distribution Centre (BDC) of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) white, thanks mainly to the existence of a distribution system through which power can be pilfered easily.

According to Suman Thapa, an engineer at the BDC, the total unit recorded at the BDC is 3.1588389 crore between July to December this year but the total sale unit is 1.1923544 crore, meaning 1.9664845 crore unit of electricity remains unaccounted for.

“Altogether 62.25 per cent electricity is being pilfered by the people of Bhaktapur,” he said.

Electric lines initially installed by the NEA were made through non-insulated wires and most of the wires pass right through the walls of houses. “It made people easy to pilfer power by hooking into the bare wires,” Thapa said.

Recently, two 100 Kilovolt Ampere (KVA) transformers at Barahi exploded due to overload caused by power pilferage. Demanding installation of transformers, locals even vandalised the NEA. “I have replaced it with a 200 KVA transformer, which cost us over Rs 50,000,” he said.

“Ultimately, the innocent people will suffer due to pilferage as it will cause frequent outages in cities,” Thapa said.

Power pilferage can be checked by replacing non-insulated wires with Air Bundled Conductors (ABC) cables. But the replacement will be costly. The NEA has begun replacing the old cables

with ABC at some places.

According to Sanjaya Kumar Lal, an engineer at the BDC, 90 per cent line in core city areas and 60 per cent in villages have already been replaced with ABC cables to prevent the pilferage.

“The Underground Cable System (UCS) is a comparatively reliable way of to control the pilferage but it is three to four times costlier than the existing system,” said Lal.

The system has been installed in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, considering the historic importance of the place.