Lalitpur City permits digital display construction

Kathmandu, July 25

Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan city has granted permits to Apex Nepal Pvt Ltd to construct a 500 square feet Digital Display in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, as a source of income for the office.

“The sub-metropolitan city’s main source of income was advertisement in the city. But after the law banned the municipality from giving permission to put up hoarding boards, our income has dried,” said Dilip Shakya, chief of the Revenue Division at suthe b-metropolitan city office.

The office charged Rs 500 per sq ft for advertising boards.

“The city has no other way to generate income now besides houses and other miscellaneous taxes. We have to look over every part of the city, but the income we make is not sufficient for development activities,” he added.

“The sub-metropolitan city used to generate more than Rs 10 million a year, but the income is now greatly decreased,” said Shakya. “In order to generate income and flow the information on public affairs, the office has permitted Apex Nepal Pvt Ltd to build the digital board,” he added.

The Supreme Court banned all forms of hoarding boards, paintings, posters, and pamphlets which constitute visual pollution on September 2, 2015. The city was banned commercial advertisement in public places.

According to environmental advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha, the law against hoarding board does not include digital displays. The metropolitan city can give permission to put up digital displays, which may not hamper the city’s beauty.

“If the office only permits few digital boards after proper analysis of suitable locations along with regular monitoring, they will not cause visual pollution. However, if they grant permission everywhere without any analysis or monitoring, digital boards can also add to visual pollution, which is against the law,” he said.

Shrestha believes that digital displays are a better option over pamphlets and hoarding boards. “The city can grant permits for one digital display within a kilometre’s distance rather than 100 pamplets and boards in one kilometre’s stretch,” he said.

The digital board will provide an income of Rs 4 million a year to the sub-metropolitan city. The city first got the consent from awalakhel Community Reform Committee, the Ministry of Science and Environment, and the Metropolitan Traffic Police before allowing the construction of the display.

The city has contracted to broadcast various Jatras such as the Bhote Jatra and the Macchindranath Jatra live through the board.

Shakya said the sub-metropolitan city is also planning to construct another digital display at Lagankhel Bus Park.