The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has started installing solar-powered street lamps on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple. It plans to put up 200 street lamps around the temple area with the assistance of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
The project is expected to be completed before the Shivaratri festival, which is taking place on the third week of February.
Gobinda Tandon, member secretary of the PADT, said the solar lights will facilitate the visitors, especially during Shivaratri when thousands of devotees visit the temple.
PADT plans to install solar lamps from Gausala Chowk to Guheswori, and all the major alleys that lead to the main temple complex.
The Pashupati area already has 70 solar lamps, but almost half of them are out of order. Besides installing new lights, Tandon said they also plan to repair the ones that are not working.PADT is expecting a
15 percent increase in the number of pilgrims from India during Shivaratri this year. Tandon said the Pashupati visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could inspire many people from India to come pay their respect to Lord Pashupatinath on Shivaratri. Around 125,000 Indian devotees had visited the temple for the festival last year.
Meanwhile, vendors dealing prayer items on the temple premises have welcomed the solar light project.
Parbati Thapa, who sells flowers and prayer items inside Pashupati area, said she expects growth in the number of visitors to the temple during the evening time, which could help her business. People will feel more secure to visit the temple and tour the area in the evening, if there are more street lamps, she added.