South Asia

Published: Sunday 15 February 2009

Making hay: Taxi drivers in Rawalpindi are charging exorbitant fares from commuters. The shortage of natural gas is good business opportunity for them. The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd, Pakistan's largest power distribution company, temporarily suspended the supply of natural gas to several CNG stations in Rawalpindi and Islamabad so that residential areas can get uninterrupted power supply. CNG vehicle users are facing severe problems due to closure of gas stations. Taxi drivers justify the high fares by saying they have to spend long hours to fill gas at the stations that are still functioning. The company said it would resume normal supply once the cold recedes.

Blackout in Nepal: The Nepal government has decided to import huge 200 mw capacity generators from China to keep its hospitals running. The country has been reeling under 16-hour power cuts every day since January 11. The Himalayan country is facing a power deficit of 5.4 million units a day. Health institutions have to bear the brunt of outages.

Electricity supply from India is disrupted as the Kosi floods destroyed the transmission line. The power cuts are likely to last next five to six years, the Nepal Electricity Authority said. Despite having the potential to generate several thousand megawatts of hydel power, only a small percentage of hydro-electricity sources have been tapped in Nepal.

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