Not believing my ears in November 2016 when I heard a friend comment “Bhatti nai jadaina’ I was delighted to hear that for the first time in over a decade, there was to be no ‘loadshedding’ in Kathmandu. Loadshedding or power cut has been a feature of life in Kathmandu and most of the country for over a decade. Indeed, many villages supplied by micro-hydro electricity power have had more light than the capital city. Life revolved around the load shedding schedule. Invariably folk stayed home on the one evening a week when their neighbourhood was promised light for most if not all the evening. There was even an app that you could download on your mobile phone showing the times when cuts were scheduled in the seven zones of Kathmandu that took turns each day to have no electricity for periods of up to eight hours at a time.
When the monsoon was late or didn’t deliver enough rain, there were power cuts of up to 18 hours a day. Everything would grind to a halt as although generators and inverters would run during these times, recurring fuel shortages and the cost of fuel often meant that there was no power for most of the day. Many offices and what little industry there is in Nepal was forced to close for days at a time.
But all this suddenly came to an end when on 7 November, it was announced that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had directed Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Kulmansing Ghising to declare the Kathmandu Valley a load-shedding free zone.
So how was this possible?
Ghising, newly appointed as head of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had proved there was no power because the powerful authorities had been monopolizing it (in return for kickbacks as it turned out, with the rot involving many people right from the top.) In addition, more power has been made available from hydropower and a good and late monsoon has meant rivers were providing maximum generation levels from existing power schemes. India too is supplying some electricity after political and technical hurdles were overcome so the supply is at an all-time high, while demand has fallen steadily as more homes and offices are using solar energy.
As a result, the NEA hope to avoid having to ration power again in Kathmandu Valley until February 2017, as the gap between supply and demand is still too big. But load shedding will be nowhere near what has been suffered in the past.
What does this mean? Aside from the Nepali Times Ass making satirical comments that Nepal’s tourism industry can no longer sell Nepal as the last country on earth without electricity, it has totally transformed life in the capital city. Even if hotels usually have generators and inverters to cushion their guests from the worst of the cuts, it has made a big difference to everyone, tourists included.
No more fumbling for torches or matches to light candles when the power goes off;
– No more counting the minutes till the power comes back on to be connected to the internet, watch TV or put the kettle on;
– No more angry growls of generators disturbing the peace of the night;
– No more excuses that things don’t work because of load shedding;
– No more tripping into potholes when walking at night.
It was much appreciated in November, following an unexpected cut one evening that lasted all of 40 minutes, the director of the NEC was heard to announce his apologies on the radio. This doesn’t mean a total end to power cuts as it some limited cuts will be necessary for February to tide things over until the rains start in June. But the long hours of gloom look very much like a thing of the past now.
Wildlife |Jun 26, 2023
1816 stands out as a very significant date in Nepal’s history; this was when the Sugauli Treaty was signed between the forces of the British East India Company and the Nepal Army—a treaty that included annexation of the far western region of the country to the Company,
Trekking |Jun 16, 2023
“Kangchenjunga embodies much of the unknown history of Himalayan climbing: the undeclared, but clearly politically motivated race between the British and the Germans to become the first nation to conquer an 8,000 m peak.
Community Homestays in Nepal |Feb 27, 2022
This is the ultimate collection of the ten days trips you must not miss while you are in Nepal. It does not take very long to see all the sights Kathmandu has to offer. However, there are lots of day trips out of the city too.
Nepal |Nov 11, 2019
For years, Kathmandu, Everest, and Annapurna have enticed travelers with dreams of exotic cultural experiences and epic trekking routes.
Trekking |Jul 14, 2023
From the shore of Rupa Taal (Rupa Pond) there is a hiking route to Chisapani Hill, which is now introduced as the Royal Hike. Once the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles had hiked from the same section, which later attributed to name this route as the “Royal Hike”. However, this hike is already in business for a day excursion.
Women Empowerment |Sep 12, 2018
Tourism is a powerful, and often, underused tool. It has the potential to ignite change and uplift communities that have traditionally lacked the resources to operate sustainably.
Travel Guide |Dec 17, 2021
The best time to visit Nepal for trekking and traveling is in the spring or fall. During this period, the temperature is warm and the sky is clear making it the best season to visit Nepal.
Trekking |May 22, 2023
One of the unique aspects of the landscape in the Himalayan region is the presence of a number of lakes that have a milky sort of color on account of the glacial silt prevalent at high altitudes. These are known as dudh kunds (milk lakes) and all of them are sacred to Hindus.
Nepal |Jun 12, 2023
Tamrakars are great at working on copper. It should also be noted that among the three big cities of the valley, that is, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan (or Lalitpur), the last mentioned has the biggest concentration of such artistically gifted Newars, and for this reason
Tours |Jul 4, 2023
A leisurely stroll along Patan’s busy roads, alleys and lanes bestows the stroller with wonderful spectacles, some of which you will probably remember for a long time to come, especially if you happen
Nepal |Oct 7, 2022
Nepal is one of the best destinations in the world for those on the lookout for getting the most out of their budgets. A visit to Nepal is not only a culturally rewarding experience but also one that will not strain your pockets unduly;
Sustainability |May 11, 2023
Trekking is a great way to keep fit and see more of the natural beauty of the world around us, and Nepal is a great country to go trekking in. It can even be said that Nepal is perhaps the best country in the world to do so, having as it does some of the most challenging, interesting, and varied trekking routes found anywhere around the globe.