The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Monday asked the public not to use decorative lights that consume high-amount of electricity during Tihar, the festival of lights.
However, NEA´s appeal has drawn widespread criticism. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter were flooded with comments criticizing NEA throughout Monday.
In a public notice issued on the eve of the five-day festival beginning Tuesday, NEA urged the people not to use electric appliances like rice cooker, iron, air conditioner and refrigerator from 5 pm to 10 pm from October 22 to 25.
The NEA citing low power supply has also said that it may cut off electricity if lights and electric appliances are used ignoring the appeal.
Sabita Acharya, a student, was among hundreds to take to twitter to vent ire at NEA. “What Home Ministry and NEA are trying to do? One says do not play deusi-bhailo while another says do not light bulbs. Are the government authorities going mad?” she tweeted.
Likewise, Netra KC tweeted, “Lit candle and stay inside home during Tihar. Do not use refrigerator and rice cooker, better stay hungry, say Home Ministry and NEA.”
“Electricity is high on the day of Laxmi puja than any other day during the festival. Oversupply of electricity may damage transformers and cause power outrage. So, we have appealed to the public to minimize electricity consumption,” said Sher Singh Bhat, NEA spokesperson. He further said that NEA may have to impose additional load-shedding during the festival due to overconsumption of electricity. Meanwhile, the home ministry on Monday decided to allow people to organize Deusi-Bhailo programs till 9 pm. Earlier, the ministry had imposed a ban on playing Deusi-Bhailo after 7 pm citing security reasons.
Cultural experts, however, said the government should adopt tighter security measures during the festival instead of imposing the ban. “The government should lift the ban completely,” said Hari Ram Shrestha, a cultural expert.