MANGALBARE: More than one dozen tea factories of large and small scale in the northern part of Ilam district are on the verge of closure as electricity service was disrupted for the past one week.
The factories have also reduced their volume of processing.Hari Katuwal of Himalayan Tea Processing Factory, Sankhejung, said that the factory processes green leaves only three days in a week.
The factory has now prepared a timetable to process green tea only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Katuwal said that they have run the factory by buying more than 300 liters of diesel daily due to disruption of electricity supply, which causes them to spend more than Rs. 30,000 daily.
It is said that the factory has been compelled to run the equipment by a generator due to pressure of farmers. Farmers of Sankhejung, Maipokhari, Mangalbare, Jitpur, among other VDCs in the district are bearing financial loss due to disruption of electricity supply.
It is said that around 20,000 kg of green leaves at tea factories is being destroyed daily. Electricity disruption has affected four dairy chilling centers based at Barbote, Shantidanda, Puwakhola and Deurali.
Assistant at the Barbote VDC based dairy chilling centre, Bhim Tamang, said that more than Rs. 20,000 is being spent every day due to disruption of electricity service though it is needed round the clock for chilling centers.
Similarly, electricity disruption has affected cheese factories operated at Ranke, Rakse and Maipokhari VDCs.
A total of 20 VDCs of Ilam district and two VDCs of Panchthar district are in darkness after a transformer at Ilam Municipality-6 based sub-station of the Nepal Electricity Authority exploded on August 5.