Municipalities start taking applications

Municipalities start taking applications

Municipalities across the country have started taking applications from the neighbourhoods interested in installing solar street lamps under the government subsidy plan.

Consumer Committees, Citizen Awareness Centres, Neighbourhood Development Institutes (Tole Bikas Sanstha), government offices and community-owned organisations within a municipality area and the local body itself can apply for the Public Participation-based Solar Street Lamp Programme launched by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD). The programme is designed on a cost-sharing basis between the local community and the government.

The government had approved working procedures for the solar street lamp project on January 24.

According to Minister for Local Development Kamal Thapa, the government will bear 65 percent of the cost of installing solar street lamps with the municipality itself bearing 20 percent of the total cost. Consumers have to bear the remaining amount.

In Kathmandu, the government and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City will bear 60 percent and 25 percent of the cost, respectively, while the remaining cost should be borne by the community, Thapa said.

The programme is also open for public institutions like schools, hospitals, universities and government offices for which the installation cost will be shared between the government and the institution in 70:30 ratio.

MoFALD this fiscal year has allocated Rs1 billion for the programme. Additional Rs420 million will be mobilised through local bodies, said Thapa.

By implementing the programme, the government expects to save at least 6 megawatt of electricity-almost the same amount of power currently being used to light street lamps across the country. As the cost of a utility pole with solar lamps is estimated at Rs100,000, the programme will cover the cost of about 10,000 solar street lamps along 710km of roads across the country, chief of Municipality and Environment Division at MoFALD Gopi Krishna Khanal said.

To get selected for the programme, community institutions recognised by the local body have to submit details— the area where the solar lamps are intended to be installed, number of people who will benefit, names of households interested in the programme and financial contribution pledged by them and materials to be used to set up equipment among others.

MoFALD Joint Secretary Chiranjivi Timsina has directed municipalities to select proposals which aim to generate maximum revenue from advertisement tax and royalties and which do not become added burden for the municipality.
Government’s Alternative Energy Promotion Centre will oversee the technical aspect of the programme and assist municipalities to prepare drawing, design, specifications and cost estimate for installing solar lamps.
Forms and procedures for applying for the programme are available at MoFALD’s website www.mofald.gov.np. The deadline for application submission is March 13.

Source: The Kathmandu Post