The Himalayan Times, 30th March 2017, Kathmandu
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to 143 municipalities directing them to complete installation of solar street lights by mid-April.
Municipality and Environmental Management Division under the ministry issued such a directive to the municipalities yesterday as some of them were yet to complete installation of solar street lights from the budget allocated for the current fiscal.
The government had announced a plan to instal as many as 45,308 solar street lights along 1,100-km of roads in the municipal areas across the country in the current fiscal, asking them to submit proposal for the same as per the Public Participation Based Solar Street Light Programme.
Of the 217 municipalities before formation of new local levels, only 143 had submitted their proposal to the ministry. The ministry, local levels and users’ committees bear 60, 25 and 15 per cent of the total expense respectively.
A total of 744 local levels, including four metropolitan cities, 13 sub-metropolitan cities, 246 municipalities and 421 rural municipalities have been formed recently.
According to the ministry, the programme will replace nearly 50,000 halogen, CFL and mercury-vapour lamps. Once the solar-powered street lights are installed, municipalities will be relieved of the burden of paying electricity tariff to the Nepal Electricity Authority. The Kathmandu Metropolitan City, sub-metropolitan cities and municipalities have been paying tens of millions of rupees to the NEA in electricity tariff every year.
The street lighting campaign is also expected to reduce late night crimes and maintain security. MoFALD said a budget of Rs 500 million had been allocated to 143 municipalities. As many as 18 out of 22 municipalities in the Valley were provided grants by the ministry under the cost participation model.
The ministry has already issued technical specifications with standards as prescribed by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre. As per the standards, the life of solar panel, battery and solar light should have a warranty of 20 years, five years and two years respectively.