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News ::
Nepal: Capitalist production is disrupt by Maoist attacks!
04 May 2002
Maoists are continuing attacks on power plants all over the country. The recent spent have affected the eastern and western hills, also the country’s mid- and far-western Terai.
Nepal: Capitalist production is disrupt by Maoist attacks!

Maoists are continuing attacks on power plants all over the country. The recent spent have affected the eastern and western hills, also the country’s mid- and far-western Terai.

All this came as another severe blow to trouble the national capitalist economy. The fact is as much as 20 megawatts of electricity in the country’s power system has been loose in the aftermath of the Dang attacks that came on the night of April 11.

Officials reactionary sources revealed on Monday that the power utility has been forced to lose millions of rupees in revenue everyday after April 11, when the Maoist hit police barracks and transmission lines in Dang. They refused to reveal the loss, or the reconstruction cost, in monetary terms.

"We have enough hydro power in the system," said Mrigendra Pradhan, the Chief at NEA’s Load Dispatch Centre. "We have also shut down all our thermal or diesel plants around the country, but still we have not been able to consume some 20 megawatts of peak power."
According to him, the Nepal power system is having 385 MW of peak power after the second unit of the 144 MW Kali Gandaki A hydel project came on line last week. The third unit, each with a capacity to generate 48 megawatts, is currently on test transmission.
The power utility is expecting a surplus of over a hundred megawatts of electricity after the third unit comes on line in late May. The rebels attacked a crucial sub-station before launching the daring raids of different police outposts in the district that night. And even before the NEA engineers repaired the damage – spending a whopping "Rs 1.4 million" – they attacked another transmission tower at Lamki in Kailali district.
Most parts of the region, including parts of Dang, Banke, Bardia, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Surkhet, are completely dark ever since. The electric lights are out, except in Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar, where few megawatts imported from neighboring India is helping people, according to officials at the NEA.
"We are yet to assess the actual damage," said Uttar Kumar Shrestha, the Chief at NEA’s Finance Department. "We can calculate the cost of reconstruction only after we finish assessing the damage."
The officials may have to do more assessments if the rate at which the rebels are launching lethal attacks on just about any type of physical infrastructure is any indication.
Enough damage has been done in the power sector alone. And two hydro plants – 5-MWAndhikhola and 12-MW Jhimruk – are already dysfunctional. Thanks again to the Maoist attacks. The list of smaller hydro facilities damaged by the rebels elsewhere in the country is long.
The attack on Andhikhola, which came on Saturday night, has disrupted electricity supplies to four western districts – Syangja, Palpa, Pyuthan and Gulmi, according to a dispatch received here this evening from our Syangja correspondent.
Nearly 30,000 NEA consumers have been affected there. The hydro facility was constructed 15 years ago with a financial assistance from United Mission to Nepal (UMN).

[Kathmandu Post, Tuesday April 30, 2002]

Rebel attacks hit BPC hard

By Mahendra Bista

BUTWAL, April 30:Recent Maoist attacks on Jhimruk and Andhikhola power plants has threatened the very existence of the government-owned Butwal Power Company (BPC), company officials here say.

Director of BPC’s management department says the attacks have brought to a grinding halt the company’s source of earning - the 17-plus megawatts of hydroelectricity that Jhimruk (12 MW) and Andhikhola (5 MW) had been selling to its consumers in western Nepal.

That way, BPC had been earning a total of Rs 1.1 million – Rs 800,000 from Jhimruk and Rs 300,000 from Andhikhola. But that stopped after the rebels attacked the power plants. Jhimruk was attacked last month and Andhikhola was damaged last week.

Now that the source of income ceases to exist and the projects are awaiting repairing, the company is finding it difficult to even pay for the salaries of its 400 something staffers, according to Dol Prasad Kharel, another officer at BPC headquarters here.

BPC’s monthly administrative expenses stand at Rs 500,000.

"Not a single paisa earned by the company goes out of the country," says an official here. "It’s hundred per cent a Nepali company."

The government owns 97 per cent of the BPC shares, while the remaining three per cent is co-owned by the NEA and the general public.

Due to the attacks, all the industries in the western region have stopped manufacturing, and over 30,000 NEA consumers coming in from Rolpa, Pyuthan, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Palpa and Syangja have been deprived of electric power.


According to a delayed report received from the far-western hill district of Bajhang, the rebels destroyed the 200-kilowatt Surma Devi micro-hydropower project on Saturday night. Chief District Officer Basu Prasad Koirala said that estimated property worth Rs. 20 million has been destroyed in the bomb blasts, leaving more than 1,000 households of six VDCs, including the district headquarters of Chainpur, in the dark.

The power plant built by the government about eight years ago was handed over to a private company on a lease for 20 years. The rebels have already destroyed more than seven micro-hydropower projects in other parts of the country.

In yet another inhumane act unleashed by the rebels, the rebels on Friday destroyed an intake of a drinking water project and its pipelines supplying water to the residents of Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jumla in remote west Nepal.

Following the destruction of the water supply, a total of 221 clients and 16 public taps have gone dry for the last four days, said Arjun Baral, manager of Khalanga Drinking Water Office. The District Drinking Water Office had handed over the project to a local user group last year.
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