Energy Minister pledges for ending power outage across the country

Govt to take initiatives to illuminate all rural villages: Energy Minister Shahi

KATHMANDU, July 27: The newly appointed Minister for Energy Mahendra Bahadur Shahi has pledged for the ending of power outage across the country.

“It is tragic that Nepal, even being the second riches country in water resources, is importing electricity from neighbor countries. Thus, the government should encourage foreign investment in hydropower sector in order to generate electricity with in the country,” he said while speaking during an interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Thursday.

“But the projects must be examined to find out whether it is of national interest before signing a deal, he added.

He underlined the urgency of power management in order to stop the electricity crisis the country is facing.

“Technical Power leakage and electricity theft should be controlled installing smart meters,” he said adding that every individual should be aware for the same.

He further added that the government is preparing to adopt smart bill payment system within a week.

On the occasion, Shahi also warned that the 1200 MW Budi Gandaki Hydropower Project awarded to China Gezhouba Group Corporation could be terminated if it fails to make assessment of the project in the given deadline.

“We will certainly end contract if the company doesn’t finish its task in the given deadline,” said Shahi.

The government awarded the contract to the Chinese developer on May 23 this year. But Gezhouba has come under huge criticism regarding its credibility due to the firm’s poor performance record.

Earlier in July, Naya Shakti Coordinator Dr Baburam Bhattarai had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba slamming the government’s decision to award the Budi Gandaki Project to the Gezhouba in the eleventh hour as against the national interest.

The Chinese company has been accused of not being able to construct the 60 MW Trishuli 3A within specified time; and of taking more than 10 years to build 30 MW Chameliya Project; and even evading NRS 1.16 billion tax.