An agreement between the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Durbarmarg Development Board (DDB) has renewed hopes for solarpowered lamps to re-illuminate Durbarmarg in the heart of the city. Owing to a row between authorities, the street lights were switched off a few days after their installation.
The Department of Roads had removed advertisement displays from the area nearly a month ago, blocking revenues for the company operating the lights.
Officials at the KMC and the DDB are of the view that the scheme under which the Kathmandu Ujyalo Karyakram—a project aimed at lighting up streets in the Capital with solarpowered lamps—is not faulty and should be implemented without modification. “We have asked the Road Department to return ad boards it had removed from Durbarmarg.
Once we receive them, we will switch on the lamps,” said Mahesh Kafle, chief of the Revenue Department at KMC, which provided technical and logistical support for the project. A committee formed to study the matter and recommend a solution has urged the department to allow service to resume. The committee has representatives from the DoR, KMC, Ministry of Urban Development, Metropolitan Traffic Police Department and Nepal Electricity Authority.
“We hope to receive the confiscated advertisement displays by Sunday, and plan to turn on the street lamps no later than Tuesday,” said Shree Gurung, manager of the solar-run street lights project. The DDB decided not to operate the street lamps after the DoR removed the advertisement displays saying that the glow signboards were not part of the terms and would compromise road safety.
The DDB, however, argued that the boards had been placed to recover Rs 11.27 million it had invested and that the government should reimburse the expenses if it is to remove the displays.
Source: The Kathmandu Post