THT 10 YEARS AGO: Loadshedding darkens industries

Biratnagar, March 15, 2006

Owing to the five-hour-long loadshedding ordered by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) daily, the major industrial city of Nepal, Biratnagar has been hit hard. Due to loadshedding, livelihood of around 100,000 workers have come under doubt. Around 300 small and large industries have been compelled to reduce their production, said Morang Business Union, adding, “The industries are about to close soon.” According to the union, the industries are compelled to bear more than Rs 50 million in losses daily. The union has asked NEA to manage loadshedding as soon as possible. Jivan Nepal, chairman of the union said, “According to the nature of these industries, they are bearing upto one million rupees of production loss daily.” He informed, Morang and Sunsari districts-based cold stores, spinning mills, jute industries, plastic industries and noodles factories are badly affected due to the loadshedding. Each industry is compelled to bear 35 per cent production loss daily, the union said and urged NEA for improved electricity supply. Rosit Uniuthan, manager of Arati Trips said, “Production in my industry has come down by 800 tonnes daily, which means a loss of Rs 220,000 daily.” Similarly, Mahesh Jaju, managing director of Asian Thai Foods said, “It is difficult to provide salary to workers due to the diminishing production in the factory.” Business entrepreneurs also demanded reduction in minimum charges, imposed for industries by  NEA. “If NEA does not consider revising the minimum charges, businessmen will go to the court,” said chairman Nepal. Local officials of NEA claimed that NEA is supplying from 500 KV to 3,000 KV of electricity according to the nature of industries.

Biogas project fails to take off in Lalitpur

Lalitpur, March 15, 2006

The people of various Lalitpur VDCs are yet to benefit from the biogas power plants though they are receiving finances to install these plants. People seem reluctant to install biogas plants in their houses due to administrative hassles, though they are getting repayable loans for two years at nominal interest rates. The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) under the government has selected the villages of Chandanpur, Bagh Bhairav, and Saatkanya in Lalitpur to install 200 bio gas plants at the cost of Rs three million in two years. The biogas plants will be availed through various milk cooperatives under the Lalitpur District Milk Production Cooperatives Association Limited. “We have finished the first phase of the programme that involved the selection of villages by looking into audit reports of three consecutive years, plans and programmes for the next two years, recommendation from the district milk cooperatives and central cooperatives,” said Dharma Dulal, loan assistant at Credit Unit of AEPC.