Bhaktapur, August 20
The Bhaktapur Municipality has begun installing solar lights in inner city areas a week ago.
Senior Engineer at Bhaktapur Municipality Shree Krishna Nyaichyai informed that the municipality was provided Rs 24,400,000 in the fiscal 2015/16 for the project. “The project started late owing to various issues outside our control,” he said. “The poles for the solar lights had to be brought in from Hetauda, but last year’s earthquake, border blockade, floods, and landslides hindered the transportation,” he said, adding that the project was now progressing smoothly. Lights have been installed around the Kamal Pokhari.
Nyaichyai said, “The government is covering 65 per cent of the budget, the municipality is covering 20 per cent, and local groups are covering 15 per cent.” The solar lights were provided by the World Bank.
The municipality will install a total of 25 solar lights and the remaining will be fitted next year after the allocation of budget, Nyaichyai said. “Eight solar lights will be erected around Kamal Pokhari, seven in Hanuman Ghat, two in Chochhen tole, two in Chhumma Ganesh, four in Kalighat and Thulo Byasi, and two in Wachhutu tole,” he said.
“Even though the country is regarded as the second richest country in terms of water resources, it is has not been able to solve its energy crisis. People have had to deal with various crimes because of that,” said Tirtha Man Dumaru, president of Kamal Vinayak Tole Reform Committee. He added, “People have to walk in the dark which can cause accidents.”
The reform committee has been protecting the historical Kamal Pokhari pond for a decade now.
“Fitting solar lights around the pond will add to its beauty and make travel at night easier through that road,” said Dumaru.
Rajan Kusi, an engineer, said, “Each solar light with the pole will cost Rs 117,000. We have installed almost 15 lights, including in Thulo Byasi, Hanuman ghat, and Kamal Pokhari. The project will be completed by this month.”
A version of this article appears in print on August 21, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.