October 4: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has reconnected the wires of the internet and cable television service providers which it had cut on Saturday for not paying their dues for using the utility poles.
On Sunday, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Pampha Bhusal held a discussion with the Ministry of Information and Communication, NEA and the service providers after the NEA cut the cable wires of the service providers. NEA was instructed to reconnect the wires immediately after the discussion.
Similarly, the service providers have to reach an agreement with NEA on the issue of overdue pole rent within mid-November. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Communications, Information and Technology, Binod Prakash Singh said that such companies have come in contact with the authority and an agreement has been reached. He said that it was agreed to continue the service immediately on the condition of paying the overdue amount.
A task force has also been formed with the objective of resolving the dispute in the short and long term. The task force formed under the coordination of the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Communications includes representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Nepal Electricity Authority, and service providers. Spokesperson Singh said that the task force was given two months to resolve the issue.
The task force will make necessary decisions regarding the details of the overdue amounts and their payments. It will be coordinated by the Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications Authority and the Ministry of Energy. It has been said that the service providers should disclose the details of the structures of the authority they have used.
NEA on Saturday "symbolically" cut off wires after some service providers failed to pay pole rent for years. According to NEA, some companies have used authority’s structures without any agreement and that they had to take such a step after not receiving the rent. According to NEA, the wires have been reconnected considering the impact on the general consumers.
The service provider has to pay the designated fare for using the NEA's pole and other structures. However, NEA has stated that some companies have not paid such rent since 2072 BS (2015 AD). NEA had introduced a new fare from 2075 BS (2018 AD). However, some companies have not paid the new fare, saying it is too expensive.
Based on the recommendation of a committee formed by the government, the fare was implemented from August 17, 2020. The NEA has stated that the companies did not come to negotiate, renew and pay the overdue amounts at all.