Power generators have limited capacities. When demand of electricity in a certain area exceeds its generation, the supply is to be cut temporarily as a method of reducing the demand on the generators. This temporary reduction in electricity supply is known as load shedding and less formally power cut. Peak load shedding hours are early evenings and mornings when most bulbs are lit and most home appliances are in use. Power is a very important daily need of modern life. Without it, life cannot run normally.
Radios, TVs, computers, rice cookers and other home appliances don’t operate. With power cut, supply of drinking water, etc. is halted. Rooms cannot be heated or cooled. Records are lost and valuable machines break down when the power cut is sudden and uninformed. Nights sinks in complete darkness with no bulb illuminating. People with criminal motives are active in load shedding hours at night. Narrow passages and streets are very insecure.
Road accidents go up.
Electrically powered vehicles are halted. Schools and colleges cannot give their morning and evening classes particularly and students cannot do their homework either. Even emergency batteries cannot be full-charged in the time of long- hour load shedding. Shrinking entertainment and recreational opportunities force people to stay idle and bored. Regular load shedding has very serious impact in the overall economic activities of a country. Overall earning opportunities for the people are limited. Factory productions fall and markets shrink. Running cost of business corporations such as, cinemas, hotels and lodges rises enormously as they e by generating power through diesel-fed generators. As a result their business falls or the price increases. However, battery makes and traders make their good days. Even the sale of candles goes up.
Despite its rich potential for hydropower, there is not enough power available in Nepal. Limited large-scale hydro- projects are based on snow-fed rivers or natural ponds collecting rainwater. Load shedding is growing with expanding cities and overambitious transmissions. Even in rainy seasons, our generators cannot produce enough to meet the demands. The are worse in dry winter when power is available for less one third of the day. It’s a real irony that Nepal with the potential of 83,000 MW of hydroelectricity has regular and long-hour load shedding.
This is the result of our irresponsible leadership which otherwise would have worked at least to meet the internal demand, if not for export. Now it is very urgent to make both short-term and long-term efforts for eliminating load shedding. Immediate demands can be fulfilled only by importing power from neighbors. So consumers must be made aware about the need of minimizing the power consumption and its vital methods. Production should be raised in every possible way. At the same time must also look further ahead. Utilizing foreign aid, sole large-scale projects should be started immediately so that e needs will be fulfilled more easily. We should invite foreign investment in this sector, too and start small-scale with local efforts.