Nepal | July 06, 2020

Birgunj-Pathlaiya industrial corridor at receiving end of rising power tariff

RAM SARRAF
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Factories along the Birjung industrial corridor as captured on Monday, May 16, 2017. Photo: THT

File – Factories along the Birjung industrial corridor as captured on Monday, May 16, 2016. Photo: THT

Birgunj, October 4

Industries on the Birgunj-Pathlaiya Industrial Corridor have been hit hard by hike in power tariff.

Nepal Electricity Authority hiked power tariff from 20 to 26 per cent from the beginning of the current fiscal for industrialists receiving electricity from the 11KV power grid.

“We were in loss already due to lack of regular power supply and the hike in power tariff has only hit us harder as this is sure to push the cost of production up,” said Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairperson Pradip Kumar Kediya, lamenting the apathy of the concerned authority towards the concerns of industrialists.

Most of the industries in the industrial corridor are getting power supply from the 11KV line. As for the power supply from that line, NEA, under a system named ‘Time of Day’ had divided 24 hours of a day into three phases and fixed the tariff.

According to the new NEA-set power tariff rate from the power line, one unit of electricity costs Rs10.50 from 5:00am to 11:00m, Rs 5.40 from 11:00pm to 5:00am and Rs 8.55 from 5:00am to 5:00pm.

The old tariff rate was Rs 4.30, Rs 7.10 and Rs 8.75 for 11:00pm to 5:00am, 5:00am to 5:00pm and 5:00pm to 11:00pm respectively.

Industrialist Rajesh Kyal bemoaned the increase in power tariff.

“The industries here were already facing the worst due to month of bandh and border blockade earlier. On top of that were the long hours of load-shedding and now the hike in tariff have added to our woes,” he said.

Birgunj CCI Senior Vice-chairperson Om Prakash Sharma, particularly, dwelt on the short supply of power. “NEA has been supplying power to this corridor only for 13 hours even in the rainy season. Earlier it used to supply power for only eight hours during the dry season,” he said.

“Earlier we got the power from the national transmission line, but now we are served from the 80MW imported from India, hence the shortage of power.”

Om Prakash reasoned further, demanding that the government and the national power utility do the needful to provide more power to the corridor and distribute it from the 110MW national transmission line.

Meanwhile, industrialists expressed fear that the largest industrial corridor in the country might suffer beyond recovery if the government doesn’t address the problems ailing it.

Birgunj industrial corridor has a number of major industries producing cement, iron and plastic products.


A version of this article appears in print on October 05, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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