Power outages wreak havoc on NT’s service in east

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Power outages wreak havoc on NT’s service in east

Aug 14, 2014-

Nepal Telecom’s (NT) service in the eastern part of the country has been hit by intermittent power outages. Most of the districts in eastern Nepal suffered from shutdowns in the GSM, landline and internet services on Wednesday. The service was erratic on Thursday too.

According to NT, services were disrupted for almost six hours on Wednesday due to power shortages. “There were interruptions in the service yesterday due to a problem in our generators,” said Chetan Kansakar, director at the Eastern Regional Directorate of Nepal Telecom in Biratnagar. “The service was stable on Thursday as we have arranged power backup.”

NT has around 1.2 million GSM service users, 200,000 CDMA service users and 100,000 ADSL service users in the eastern part of the country. Its ADSL service was affected the most by the power crisis.  

NT’s regional office in Biratnagar has two 350 kVA generators. However, both the generators went kaput on Wednesday. “Our generators did not work and the load-shedding hours too increased significantly. The small power backup could not function since there was no power for almost 16 hours,” said Kansakar.  The country’s eastern region has been suffering from a power shortfall due to upgradation work on the 132 kV Kusaha-Kataiya transmission line. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has raised the load-shedding hours from 40 hours to 60 hours weekly which has affected the eastern region the most.  The NEA imports 80-85 MW of electricity daily from India over the Kusaha-Kataiya transmission line. The renovation is likely to be completed this Saturday after which normal electricity supply will be resumed. The NEA said that power transmission through the Kusaha-Kataiya line would be turned off from 7 am to 7 pm until maintenance is finished.

According to Kansakar, the service quality will return to normal within a couple of days even if improvement work on the transmission line remains unfinished. “We have brought a new generator from Kathmandu which will be installed on Friday. Once it starts producing power, things will return to normal,” said Kansakar.

Similarly, NT Spokesperson Guna Keshari Pradhan said that the problem in eastern Nepal had been sorted out and that regular service would resume soon. “There has been some problems in several places, but the system as a whole and the service is good,” said Pradhan.

The company’s 3G service in the Mid-Western and Far Western regions has been disrupted too. “NT’s optical fibre has been cut in Nepalgunj. Due to this, problems have surfaced in the telecom service,” said Pradhan. She added that they had already directed a technical team to fix the problem to bring the telecom service back to normal. “The internet service has been most affected by the problem.”

Published: 15-08-2014 09:48

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