Sixty seven percent population of Karnali Province (approximately 1.3 million populations) is forced to live in the dark without electricity, according to the Division of Water Resources and Energy Development under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development of the Province. They are dependent on earthen lamps or solar energy. The province has capacity of generating around 18,000 megawatts electricity.
But, lack of budget has worsened the matter, said civil rights activists. With this, the aim of the provincial government to make the province free of dark through micro hydropower projects and alternative energy in next three years has been hit. Construction of small hydropower projects and installation of solar energy panels on the initiatives of the provincial and local government has reduced the number of people facing lack of power (earlier 72 percent populations lacked electricity), said the Ministry.
The government has allocated Rs 423 million for the construction of hydropower projects in the province districts for the current fiscal year, 2021/22. According to the Division, 47 percent population (Surkhet) has got electricity access, 50 percent (Salyan), 39 percent (Rukum-West), 26 percent (Dailekh), 14 percent (Jajarkot), 20 percent (Dolpa), five percent (Jumla), 22 percent (Kalikot), 19 percent (Mugu) and 28 percent (Humla). —