Simkot, the district headquarters of Humla, is burdened by 20-hour-long load shedding on a daily basis. Load shedding has not come to an end in the rural town though millions of rupees are spent annually for maintenance of electricity resources.
The 20-hour-long daily load shedding is attributed to extreme negligence on the part of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) staffers and their lack of skill. All NEA employees, except the head of the office, are local residents and are said to be grossly negligent in maintenance works.
According to NEA, Simkot, load shedding hours are on the rise as the town’s power generation capacity has been hit due to shortage of water in the Hildum Small Hydropower Project.
Businesses operating in Simkot have been affected as the local hydel imposes 20 hours of load shedding daily. All furniture and electronics businesses have been forced to pull their shutters owing to shortage of electricity supply.
Nanda Singh, who runs an electronics shop in Simkot, said that there were seven furniture businesses in Simkot and all of them had to shut down due to increase in load shedding.
Similarly, Sunmati Singh, owner of a local mobile phone center, complained that her mobile repairing shop had to be shut down due to perennial power outage. Stating that they have electricity supply for only four hours a day, Singh said that she was ultimately forced to close her shop due to long load shedding hours.
Similarly, three dozen businesses that depend on regular supply of power have been affected in Simkot. Students have also been affected due to the load shedding. Angela Rokaya, a Grade VIII of Mansarovar Secondary School, said that she had difficulty in doing her homework because the power supply was restored only after 10 pm every day.
Likewise, students preparing for the forthcoming SEE are also struggling in the rural village.
Perennial power outage has also disrupted daily works at the district hospital. Senior ANM at the Humal District Hospital Sarita Bohara informed that the hospital’s services were halted during the afternoon everyday due to power outage.
Sajan AD, head of NEA’s local distribution center, informed that the daily load shedding hours were increasing due to shortage of water at the Hildum Hydropower Project.
He added that the hydel project, with the capacity to generate 500 kilowatts of electricity, was currently generating only 140 to 150 kilowatts. He said that the distribution center had to distribute one megawatt of electricity daily to 1,800 service recipients in Simkot and Kharpunath villages.