Rising power tariff hits water project in Ramechhap

Ramechhap, June 29

People in drought-hit areas of Ramechhap have been severely affected due to exorbitant power tariff. After local water sources went dry, residents of various villages are being supplied with water lifted from local rivers by using electricity.

“Only last year, we increased the minimum water tariff by two-fold and fixed it at 500 rupees, but now it seems we have to hike the charge again,” said Manthali Drinking Water Consumers’ Committee Manager Jagadish Subedi.

According to Subedi, a total of Rs 4 lakh was collected from May to June this year in electricity tariff . “As the tariff goes up, the cost of water supply is also going to increase,” he said, adding till last year the monthly power bill stood at Rs 2 lakh.

The water project has been distributing water through 700 taps.

There are 13 such water-lifting projects that use electricity to draw water from low lying water sources and supply it to the villagers. And all such projects are witnessing increasing operation costs.

Water Supply and Sanitation Division Office Ramechhap Chief Lok Bahadur Chaulagain conceded the soaring cost in operating water-lifting projects. “It would have been a great relief to the consumers if the government provided power at subsidised rates for water projects, “ said Chaulagain.

The recently elected mayor of Manthali Municipality Ramesh Basnet said, “As we can’t live without water, the government and Nepal Electricity Authority should do the needful to minimise the cost of operating water projects.”