Minister for Energy, Water Supply and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal called a press conference on August 28, 2022, over a year after she took over the ministerial portfolio, to make public her achievements. She said that during her term in office, electricity had increased considerably, transmission lines were built, electricity prices were reduced, and a power trade agreement with India was signed.
On the Facebook group ‘Pampha Bhusal Supporters’, several of the statistics Minister Bhusal presented during the press conference have been transformed into sleek infographics.
On September 7, 2022, Pampha Bhusal’s supporter page shared infographics with a caption: “Some commendable works done by Pampha sister after she took charge of the Ministry of Energy, Water Supply and Irrigation.” The next day, another Facebook page shared the content.
The infographic with Bhusal’s photo is titled: “Pampha sister is committed to reducing people’s energy problems.” The infographic stated that under Bhusal, Nepal’s total installed power capacity has increased from 1528 megawatts to 2269 MW.
In other words, power production has increased by 741 MW since Bhusal was appointed minister.
We fact-checked Minister Bhusal’s claim that Nepal’s total power generation capacity increased from 1,528 MW to 2,269 MW during the period.
We found that throughout her tenure, the electricity production capacity (installed capacity) increased by 657 megawatts (from the day of her appointment as minister to the day of the press conference).
Sher Bahadur Deuba was appointed prime minister on July 13, 2021, after the Supreme Court reinstated the House of Representatives dissolved by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. On the same day, Maoist leader Pampha Bhusal was appointed Minister for Energy, Water Supply and Irrigation.
A week before Bhusal was appointed, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. The first unit produced 76 MW of the total 456 MW of power that day.
In other words, even before she became a minister, the plant had already begun generating 76 MW of electricity.
While claiming that the installed power capacity reached 741 megawatts, Energy Minister Bhusal also included the 456 megawatts from the Upper Tamakoshi project on her list of achievements.
During her tenure, the installed capacity reached 657 MW (653 megawatts of hydroelectricity and four megawatts of solar energy), according to an analysis by Nepal Check.
Nepal Check examined data from the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) and analyzed it to conclude (see table below). The DoEd updated its data on October 10, 2022.
|Type of power plant||Total installed capacity in MW||Source|
|Hydropower below 1 MW||13.232||https://www.doed.gov.np/license/53|
|Hydropower more than 1 MW||2,075.813||https://www.doed.gov.np/license/54|
|Minister’s claim on total installed capacity||2269|
Nepal’s installed capacity was just 2,190 megawatts, according to the annual report of the Nepal Electricity Authority published on August 1, 2022, with data for installed capacity made available up to July 16, 2022.
Our calculation of the power generation capacity was based on the data published by the DoED. We created a database from the DoED by dividing the period between the day Bhusal was appointed the minister (July 13, 2021) and her press conference (August 28, 2022), in which she spoke about her ministry’s accomplishments.
|Power plants started generation in her tenure||Capacity in MW|
|Hydropower below 1 MW||0|
|Hydropower above 1 MW||653|
|Total power capacity in her tenure||657|
Our findings show that, rather than 741 megawatts, the electricity generation capacity for the period was 657 megawatts. Therefore, Minister Bhusal’s claim that she boosted power generation capacity from 1,528 to 2,269 MW is false.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Under Energy Minister Bhusal, the total installed capacity of power generation increased from 1,528 megawatts to 2,269 MW.||Minister for Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal and Facebook users||False|
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