Kathmandu– The government has appealed people to make online electricity bill payments until the risk of spread of COVID-19 subsides.
The government is preparing to manage online payment system as the risk of transmission of the virus is high due to the crowd in the payment counters. Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsaman Pun said if consumers cannot make online payment due to lack of internet access, there will be no fine and the line will not be cut. A meeting held on Monday had made the decision considering the growing concern over the spread of the new virus. “I request consumers to make the online electricity bill payment as the crowd in the bill payment counter poses high risk of virus transmission,” he said, “Service for consumers who cannot make the payment due to lack of access of internet or other reasons will not be stopped or will not be fined.”
The meeting has also decided to not provide leave to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Head of Production and Distribution Center Offices have been directed to make morning and evening attendance for employees mandatory. Stating that the government has listed electricity as an essential service, Minister Pun said the decision to not provide leave to staffers was made. As there are limited manpower in the No-light and Load Dispatch Centre (LDC) department, the staffers will be kept on isolation in the office until the risk period is on. The government said if they are infected, the service might be obstructed. “The work in No-light and LDC is taking place with limited staff,” Pun said, “While traveling back and forth from home to office, there are chances that they might be infected so they will be kept on isolation in the office.”
The government has also decided to not halt under construction hydropower and irrigation projects. The manpower engaged in construction will be kept on isolation while they work on the project.
Minister Pun cleared that the staffers of essential service will not be getting leave but the employees can also work from home according to the nature of their job. “The cabinet has not approved leave for employees but they can take turns,” he said adding that the employees need to be present at the office on the basis of one SMS and also be ready to leave for home as per the command through SMS.
The ministry is making arrangements of shuttle service from Tuesday for employees that commute through public transportation. He has requested the bodies under the ministry to use vehicles of their respective offices and if it is still insufficient, he has asked the offices to rent out vehicles in cheap cost.