Electricity reaches remote Chepang settlements in Dhading and Chitwan

KATHMANDU: Electricity from the national grid has reached the remote Chepang settlements in Dhading and Chitwan, areas predominantly inhabited by the highly marginalized Chepang community.

Electrification has been achieved by extending the national transmission line to these remote villages in Gajuri and Benighat Rorang Rural Municipalities of Dhading and Ichchakamana Rural Municipality of Chitwan. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has also provided free meters to the Chepang community.

The NEA has been distributing free electricity meters to disadvantaged and economically deprived households that cannot afford to buy meters, to expand access to electricity. Through its distribution centers across the country, the NEA has been installing electricity by providing free meters to the underprivileged. Eligible households will receive a free single-phase energy meter with a capacity of 5-30 amperes, including an MCB box, without any service charge for meter installation.

At an event held in Kaling of Ichchakamana Rural Municipality-1, Chitwan, on Saturday, NEA Managing Director Kul Man Ghising declared the municipality fully electrified. He also distributed free meters to the Chepang community residing in the municipality.

In the current fiscal year alone, the NEA has spent over Rs. 150 million on electrification in seven wards of Ichchakamana Rural Municipality. MD Ghising stated that the NEA is working towards achieving full electrification of the country using the government’s budget, profits earned by the NEA, and concessional loans from international financial institutions.

“About 7-8 years ago, only around 60% of the population had access to electricity from the national grid. Even in areas with electricity, there was load shedding, while other places were in complete darkness. Today, load shedding has become history, and 95% of the population has access to electricity from the national grid. Contracts for 100% electrification have been signed, and work is underway,” said Ghising. “Previously, people had to visit NEA offices seeking electricity. Now, we are searching for homes without electricity, and millions are being spent to electrify even a single house in remote areas. No house should be left out, and if any are found, please inform us.”

He urged the use of electric stoves to replace gas for increasing electricity consumption and mentioned the removal of the Rs. 1,000 deposit requirement for squatters without land ownership documents.

Chairperson of the Rural Municipality, Dan Bahadur Gurung, stated that the NEA allocated more funds for the electrification of Ichchakamana than the budget received by the municipality from various sources in a year, making full electrification possible. Chairperson Gurung mentioned that the municipality has arranged to cover the Rs. 1,000 deposit required for squatters during electricity installation.

Deputy Executive Director of NEA’s Distribution and Customer Service Directorate, Manoj Silwal, urged safe use of electricity and timely payment of bills. Deputy Chairperson of the Rural Municipality, Maya Silwal, and Ward Chairperson of Ward No. 1, Sant Bahadur Magar, noted that the end of darkness in the municipality would boost economic activities in the area.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday May 19, 2024, 11:54:43 AM |

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