Foreign Minister, GoN
Hello Mahendra jee
My attention was drawn to your defending PTA in the Parliament’s International Relations and Labour Committee saying that “PTA with India has opened investment avenues”. It is clear that PTA is to export and import power to and from India. Since you are referring to attracting investment in Nepal (not in India from where Nepal could have imported) that will entail export of electricity from Nepal.
My simple questions to you is if new projects are to be implemented by attracting investment in the wake of signing of PTA for export, what will happen to Nepal’s need?
• 45% of population who have access to electricity from grid is suffering from load shedding. Will export of electricity resolve the problem of those suffering from load shedding? The gap in dry season is 491 MW according to NEA. You may not be suffering from load shedding because NEA has, reportedly, provided dedicated feeder line to the compound where ministers’ live.
• 55% of people don’t have access to electricity. Will this group of people gain access to electricity from NEA by having electricity exported? Requirement for this group of people is about 1,500 MW.
• Industrial sector is barely limping along due to power starvation. Will exporting electricity mitigate the problem of industries? No new industries are being set up for the same reason. Right now industries need about additional 1,000 MW.
• Just to replace LPG from urban, sub-urban, peri-urban areas, the requirement is another 1,000 MW. Will people be able to cook with electricity (which is cheaper as well as it will help reduce balance of trade and payment deficit – and also to reduce NOC’s loss) after electricity is exported?
• Import of petroleum products too is driving balance of trade and payment deficits higher and higher. Will exporting electricity help reduce Nepal’s dependency on imported petroleum products by electrification of transportation? Immediate requirement for the purpose is about 500 MW. Reckless/mindless dodger/excavator “culture” to build roads from nowhere to nowhere is inviting landslides, erosion, artificial lakes on rivers etc. Cable cars and ropeways could have easily mitigated both of these problems. Similarly, electric train on so called project of national pride – fast track to Tarai (I call it national disgrace because it will increase nepal’s dependency on fossil fuel by a magnitude) would have reduced imports of diesel by more than 100,000 kl.
• In Tarai a number of farmers are irrigating their land by using diesel pumps. Agriculture specialists have concluded that diesel pumps are being used to generate power equivalent to 700 MW. Will exporting electricity to India help reduce it?
To conclude nepal can use more than 5,000 MW right now. With the signing of PTA every kW of power will get exported except for some free energy that GoN will “beg”.
I wonder this is how present GoN plans to “develop” the country of ours!