Door-to-door drive to promote CFLs put off

Criteria for CFL products to be worked out

Kathmandu, January 13:

The government has postponed a door-to-door campaign aimed at promoting use of Compact Fluorescent Lamps for efficient use of electricity by a few more weeks. The drive was supposed to begin tomorrow.

The Ministry of Water Resources introduced the campaign under the ‘National Energy Crisis Working Plan -2065’ that includes 25 short-term, three mid-term and seven long-term

programmes to address the current state of energy crisis.

The government, however, is still formulating strategies to execute the plan of action. Quality of CFL products needs to be checked before introducing the ‘Buy one get one free’ scheme, said Anup Kumar Upadhyaya, spokesperson for MoWR. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is planning to work out with World Bank consultants to set up criteria for the quality of CFL products, he added.

The quality of CFLs should be tested in international labs. A distribution mechanism is also to be figured out. While the government and NEA have already allocated Rs 5 million each to set up a Rs 10 million CFL Fund under the campaign, the government has also exempted tax and VAT on import of CFL products, Light Emitting Devices (LED), slim tube lights and Electronic ballasts. They are also discouraging import, production and use of incandescent lights.

Chiranjibi Sharma Paudel, director of the Technical Service and Commercial Department of NEA, said efforts were afoot to import electricity via 33 KV lines from India. Paudel said that, according to the plan, regional directors were working to import electricity via Farbeshgunj-Biratnagar line, Jayanagar-Siraha, Sitamani - Jaleshwore and Raxaul-Birgunj lines. “We are also working to find out the areas from where the energy can be imported from the far west regions. We will examine the ones that are already existing. This will be finalised within a week,” he said.

Sher Singh Bhat, chief of Load Dispatch Centre of NEA, said, “The current power cuts might go down to 10 hours per day within a month once the repair work on transmission lines of Koshi-Kataiya is complete aiding to import of additional 80 MW of power. Mid-Marshyangdi projects is also expected to function in two weeks time, which will add 35 MW in the existing transmission lines.”

Bhat added that the current crisis was due to the increase in demands which had gone up from 600 MW to 800 MW within four years, while there was no project constructed during the period. The nation is witnessing a deficit of 5.4 million units per day, according to the NEA.