Nepal | September 28, 2020

EDITORIAL: Plants sans grids

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

Failure to construct transmission lines on time will mean keeping hydel projects ready to generate energy idle

Private developers of many hydroelectric projects being built in major river corridors are apprehensive about not being able to evacuate energy even after the completion of their projects as the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is running slow on construction of transmission lines. As per agreements reached with private power developers, the state-owned power utility is supposed to build transmission lines up to certain points from where they can evacuate electricity to the national grid. A number of power plants are about to complete their projects by 2020 in major river corridors. The NEA has awarded contracts to construct the transmission lines borrowing loans and grants from various lending agencies, including the Asian Development Bank and World Bank as well as US grant of $500 million under the Millennium Challenge Corporation. However, the concerned contractors have missed the deadline of building the transmission lines, causing huge financial burden to the NEA as well as independent power producers. As per the agreements, the NEA has to cough up fines up to 45 per cent to the private producers if it fails to construct the transmission lines on time.

Amidst this uncertainty, Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA, inspected the Solu Corridor on Sunday and told the concerned contractor – Mohan Energy Corporation Pvt Ltd, India – to finish the job of 90-km long 132kV transmission line and a sub-station within the deadline of 2019. The Rs 260 million Solu Corridor project is being constructed with investment from government of Nepal, NEA and a soft loan obtained from Indian Exim Bank. The contractor is supposed to erect 301 pylons along the corridor. But it has so far erected five pylons and dug foundations for 50 others. Various hydel projects are developing 217.5MW of electricity in the Solu region. The contractor has attributed the delay in carrying out the job on time to government’s non-cooperation to clear the forest area. This problem must be resolved soon if the project were to be completed on time.

Ghising has said delay in constructing the transmission lines and sub-station in the Solu Corridor will incur huge losses to the NEA, government and even the independent power producers. According to the PPAs reached with private power developers, the NEA has to pay 45 per cent of the total electricity generated by the producers if the transmission lines and sub-stations are not built on time. He has also warned that losses incurred due to delay in building the transmission lines and sub-station will be realised from the contractor and consulting company. This is not an isolated case where construction works have been delayed. Half a dozen private power developers are also generating over 100MW of electricity in the Marshyangdi River Corridor. Some of them are about to complete construction of power plants within this fiscal. But the NEA has just awarded the contract to build 112-km long Manang-Bharatpur 220-kV transmission lines and sub-stations. The government’s plans to generate 3,000MW of energy in three years will be limited to papers only if it fails to build the grids on time.

Keeping tabs on cabs

Taxi ride in the Capital city is a costly affair. Most of the times passengers are forced to shell out more money than the meter shows. Taking a taxi during rush hour is even more cumbersome, as it is a common practice among cabbies to demand more than the fixed fare. They even refuse to switch the meters on. To regulate the taxis in the Capital city, the government in January last year had issued a directive asking all the taxi operators in the Kathmandu Valley to install computerised billing system. But not all the taxis in the city have installed the system. On Sunday alone, traffic police booked as many as 119 taxis for plying the city streets without the system.

Traffic police action against those cabs not complying with the government regulation is a welcome move. The concept of computerised billing system was introduced after taxis were found tampering with their meters. This system requires taxis to issue receipts to passengers. But still, complaints are rife about Kathmandu taxis fleecing passengers. Authorities including traffic police must continue monitoring to regulate the taxis. Passengers also should demand bill from cabbies after every ride.


A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Yet another Covid-19 related fatality recorded in Banke

RANJHA: A 47-year-old person from Bankegaun of Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City in Banke district has died of coronavirus this morning. With this latest fatality, COVID-19 casualty in the district has reached 13. The man died in course of treatment at Nepalgunj Teaching Hospital in Nepalgunj, i Read More...

Indian Premier League, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders, Shubman Gill

Morgan lauds Gill for batting masterclass against Hyderabad

England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan hailed rising India batsman Shubman Gill after the young opener's unbeaten 70 helped Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday for their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Kolkata, beaten by defending champions Mumba Read More...

12-year-old Bajhang girl raped before murder: Post-mortem report

BAJHANG: District Hospital Bajhang has issued the post-mortem report of murdered minor in Bajhang, revealing that she was raped before being murdered. The Bajhang District Police Office (DPO) received the report from the hospital on Saturday. The 12-year-old girl was found dead in a temple on Read More...

Liverpool great Souness backs Thiago to shine in England

Liverpool's new midfielder Thiago Alcantara's vision and passing range is reminiscent of Brazilian great Zico's in his prime and the 29-year-old ticks all the boxes to be a big success in the Premier League, former midfielder Graeme Souness said. Thiago joined league champions Liverpool from Read More...

21 construction companies face action in Bagmati province

BAGMATI: The Road Division Office, Hetauda has proceeded to take action against 21 construction companies who have failed to complete agreed projects in time. The contracts awarded to those companies for the road projects based in Makawanpur, Bara and Parsa districts cancelled as per the Clause Read More...

1,573 new cases take Nepal’s coronavirus tally to 73,394 on Sunday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s coronavirus tally moved to 73,394 as 1,573 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. As many as 885 people that had earlier contracted Covid-19 tested negative for the infection as per the Ministry’s latest data. So far, 53,898 people have recovered from the diseas Read More...

Ten Covid-19 fatalities registered on Sunday, death toll advances to 477

KATHMANDU: Ten more individuals diagnosed with coronavirus infection have succumbed to the disease, the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed at its regular media briefing on Sunday. Of the deceased, one is a woman while the rest nine are men. Details of the deceased individuals 20- Read More...

Opinion: How Nepal can benefit from ‘Science diplomacy’. 

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 27 Chan-Mo Park is a computer scientist as well as chancellor at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) in the Democratic Republic of Korea. He is an American citizen with a PhD from the University of Maryland. Park is eager to introduce North Korean Scientists Read More...