Several solar lamps installed in Lakeside and New Road area in Pokhara have stopped working due to lack of repair and maintenance works. Solar lamps were installed in the areas around seven months ago.
The street lamps were installed through joint initiative of Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan Office, Pokhara Tourist Council, New Road Improvement Committee and the Center for Inclusive Growth (CIG).
Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai, who coordinated the installation of the lamps, said that the sub-metropolis should take responsibility of repairing the lamps. According to him, advertisement boards have been put up on every lamp post so the funds raised through advertisement should be used for the maintenance of the lamps.
Bhattarai informed that the maintenance work costs around Rs. 3.5 million per year. He argued that the budget allocated for the repair and maintenance of the lamps should not be spent elsewhere. “Sub-Metropolitan Office is the most influential stakeholder,” he said adding that the office has major responsibility of making the project sustainable. According to Bhattarai, Rs 22.5 million was spent in installing the solar lamps.
The sub-metropolis office contributed 25 percent of the cost, consumers contributed 20 percent and the remaining 55 percent was contributed by Alternative Energy Promotion Board. CIG had provided technical assistance. However, sub-metropolitan office stresses that contractor Suryadaya Urja Company should do the repair work as the warranty period of the lamps has not expired. Spokesman of the sub-metropolis, Ananta Prasad Koirala, said that every stakeholder, including the local neighbourhood improvements committee should look into such problems.
The lights were installed along a stretch starting from Fishtail Gate of Lakeside to Khaharechowk and Sabhagrihachowk to Chipledhunga at 30-meter intervals.