India-Nepal Relations: Issue of Power and Electricity

Nepal has requested India to provide additional power through two newly-built transmission lines. Nepal also requested India to expedite supply of electricity through 132kV Kushaha-Kataiya and 132kV Raxual-Parwanipur cross-border transmission lines.

India and Nepal have reached an understanding to arrange a meeting between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, and Power Trade Cooperation of India to settle all technical issues related to supply of power to Nepal.

NEA has already requested India to provide 50 MW of electricity through each of these two transmission lines. It is planning to supply electricity bought from India to industrial corridors in Nepal.

Hydropower generation in Nepal has plunged by almost 60 per cent as the water level in most of the river basins has fallen due to onset of the dry season.

As a result, NEA is relying heavily on the electricity bought from India to keep the country free from power cuts.

To bridge the gap, Nepal is currently importing around 380MW of electricity from India through various cross-border transmission lines. The country’s peak electricity demand hovers at 1,240MW.

NEA has managed to end power outages by cutting off power supply to energy-intensive industries during peak electricity consumption hours.

Nepal, home to around 6,000 rivers, rivulets and tributaries, has the potential to generate over 40 GW of electricity through hydropower, but as of now, its installed capacity stands at less than 1,000 MW.

There is a big gap in demand and supply of electricity because Nepal has not been able to build bigger hydropower plants since the 70MW Middle Marsyangdi Hydro-electric Project, located in Lamjung, came into operation in 2008.