Nepal | April 07, 2020

Govt begins process to light up streets with solar power

Himalayan News Service

The programme is aimed at reducing the burden of load-shedding

Solar panels in Gorkha district

Solar panels are installed at the District Development Committee Office in Gorkha on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, February 28

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has written to the Office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and all sub-metropolitan cities and municipalities to call for proposal from consumers’ committees, citizen awareness centres and area development organisations for their involvement in ‘Public Participation Based Solar Street Light Programme’.

An official at the Municipal Planning and Management Section under the MoFALD said a circular was issued to the local bodies directing them to call for proposal from the prospective stakeholders by mid-March.

“The local bodies will have to submit a proposal along with necessary details and feasibility study to the MoFALD by March 20,” informed the official.

Earlier, the MoFALD announced plans to install solar lights along 710 kilometers of roads in various municipalities and village development committees across the country.

The ‘Public Participation Based Solar Street Light Programme’ will gradually replace the halogen, CFL and mercury-vapour lamps. The fiscal budget for 2015/16 had also made arrangements for necessary fund for the programme.

The programme is aimed at illuminating urban and rural settlements with solar-powered lights and saving consumption of electricity to reduce the burden of load-shedding.

The January 22 Cabinet meeting had approved the Procedures on Public Participation Based Solar Street Light Programme, paving the way for the MoFALD to formally initiate the programme.

The government, local bodies and consumers will bear 60, 25 and 15 per cent of the total cost in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City respectively.

In case of other places other than the KMC, the government will make an investment of 65 per cent while local bodies would bear 20 per cent and consumers 15 per cent.

The government, local bodies and consumers will bear 70, 20 and 10 per cent of the total cost respectively in highly-deprived settlements.

On an average, it costs Rs 100,000 to install a single solar-powered street light. The distance between the poles with solar-powered lights should not exceed 50 metres.

This programme is expected to save at least six megawatts of electricity.

A version of this article appears in print on February 29, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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