Govt planning to install solar-run street lamps

- Post Report, Kathmandu
AEPC executive director says the target is to install solar-powered street lamps in 54 municipalities in one year

Dec 24, 2015-After making solar electric system mandatory for buildings in cities across the country, authorities are now preparing to power all street lamps through solar energy as well.

The campaign will begin in Kathmandu Valley from January 29 by replacing all street lamps powered by Nepal Electricity Authority’s power grid with solar ones, according to Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) Ram Prasad Dhital. 

“This is a part of our effort to make solar street lamps comprehensive in all urban areas with cooperation from respective municipalities,” Dhital said. “We have targeted 54 municipalities this year where we will install solar lamps with participation of local communities. It includes replacing all NEA lamps as well.”

In Kathmandu Valley alone, there are around 18,000 street lamps powered by the NEA grid. The AEPC estimates that powering street lamps with solar energy could save up to 6 megawatt of electricity.

Hanumandhoka area to be solar lit

Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Conservation Programme has announced to install 96 solar lamps in the heritage area. According to chief of the programme Narendra Bilas Bajracharya, the lights will be installed from Juddha Shumsher’s statue at New Road till New Road Gate, Indrachowk and Siddhi Charan Chowk.

Twenty-one solar lamps have already been installed in the core Durbar area while poles have been erected at other places for the purpose, Bajracharya said. There will be one 50 watt light on one-armed poles while two-armed poles will have two lights of 40 watts each.

Existing solar-powered lamps out of order

Many street lamps installed by the NEA on major streets and thoroughfares of Kathmandu for last year’s Saarc Summit are not working. Around 500 of the 1,600 solar are out of order due to lack of maintenance. NEA officials said they have communicated the problem to Hydro China, the firm that had provided the ligths, and asked it to fix them.  Several traffic lights inside Kathmandu Valley are also either out of order or not functioning properly.

In an interaction programme on Tuesday, AIG Pratap Singh Thapa said that police, the road department and transport management department cannot solve the traffic problems in the Valley on their own and require a broader collaboration with the public. For the purpose, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has formed a committee under SP Posh Raj Pokharel. The committee, comprising of different stakeholders, has been tasked to submit a report on solving traffic woes in the Valley within 15 days.

According to MTPD, apart from fixing broken traffic lights, they need to install new ones in 66 junctions in the Valley.

Published: 24-12-2015 09:05

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