Launch delay shadows solar street light project

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 7, 2014-

Durbarmarg Development Board (DDB) has said that it cannot operate the newly installed solar-powered street lamps in Durbarmarg unless it has recovered its advertisement display boards confiscated by the Department of Road (DoR) earlier.

DDB had switched off the street lights indefinitely after the Kathmandu division of DoR removed the advertisement displays from Durbarmarg, citing violation of traffic safety regulation in April. An agreement was reached between the two sides by the intercession of a government committee on May 29.

“Despite the direction from the government committee, the Kathmandu division of the DoR has not returned our advertisement displays,” claimed Shree Gurung, the project manager.  

 Just days after the project’s completion in April, the DoR had seized the advertisement displays that were also installed as a part of the project.

To protest the move, the DDB had decided not to operate the newly installed lights, claiming that the seized advertisement displays were its only source of revenue to recover its investment (Rs 11.27 million) in the project.   

The committee comprising of members from the DoR, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Ministry of Urban Development ministry, Nepal Electricity Authority and traffic police was formed to settle the dispute. It had given the DDB the permission to retain the advertisement displays and launch the project. DDB has, however, refused to operate the street lights, claiming that the Kathmandu division of the DoR has ignored its request to return the advertisement displays.

Gopal Khadka, chief of Kathmandu division at DoR, however, said that the DDB has not contacted them for the return of the advertisement displays. “We are ready to  abide by the decisions made by the committee, but DDB has not contacted claim its display boards,” he said.

Published: 08-06-2014 10:14

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