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Nepali paper industry closed due to lack of electricity supply

If there was regular supply of electricity, Nepali handmade paper was being produced in full swing at Pandavakhani. However, the handloom paper industry in Galkot Municipality-10 Pandavakhani has been closed for the last seven months. The industry has not been able to operate since January last year as the production of local micro hydropower in Pandavakhani, which does not have access to central electricity, has been declining.


Chuda Bahadur Rana, a local, has been active in the Nepali handmade paper industry for the past four years after the abundance of Lokta produced from the Argheli and Baruwa species found in the community and private forests of Pandavakhani. The hand-operated paper operated from small hydropower has been shut down due to problems in regular power supply. "The handmade paper industry has come to a complete standstill for the past seven months," said industry operator Chuda Bahadur Rana.

Due to the lack of Lokta, five people were getting regular employment in the industry. Nepali handmade paper being produced here was being sold in Baglung, Pokhara and Kadamadu. "They even bought a generator when they could not afford it, but they did not have any skills," he said. Rana said that more than Rs 5 million has been invested in the handmade paper industry. Although the industry has been earning good income in recent times due to continuous operation, the industry has been shut down due to reduction in power generation.

The industry was using electricity generated from the local Maukhola Micro Hydropower Project. Although the industry needs 8 kilowatts of electricity regularly, only 12 kilowatts of electricity has been generated by micro hydropower and only the locals have to burn electricity. Electrical equipment has also been damaged due to problems in power supply at full capacity. In Pandavakhani, where there is a lot of potential for handmade paper, there is a need for central electricity to revive the industry.

Produced Nepali paper costs Rs 8 to 40 depending on the quality of the 30-inch wide and 40-inch long paper. Rana, who sold the handmade paper produced before January, says that he has been making financial transactions of Rs 3 million annually from the paper. The industry currently has 215 paper drying frames. He aims to increase the number of frames to 500 by coming to the central power village.

According to the Nepal Electricity Authority, Baglung Distribution Center, work is underway to lay poles and wires for the central electrification in Pandavakhani. Chief of the Nepal Electricity Authority Baglung Distribution Center Shiv Narayan Goshali informed that it will take a few months for the central electrification. "Electrification work is underway in Pandavakhani. It will take some time due to non-supply of materials," said Goshali, head of the distribution center. "Electricity will be connected after this Dashain, Tihar. It will take a few months as transformers have to be installed as per the demand."

Handmade paper industry has been operating even in Tarakhola of Baglung district. Demand for Nepali handmade paper produced in Baglung is high. Nepali paper has become more popular for government work.

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