Kathmandu, September 5, 2016: The government has kept solar light in all main streets in the capital at distance of 50 meters. According to Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office (MCO), 60,000 street lamps have been put at streets that are wider than four meters.
â€œNot even 50 street lamps work in Kathmandu,â€ an officer at MCO said.
Only few street lamps are functioning. Most of the lamps have no bulbs and some others are damaged. Others donâ€™t get any electricity.
Streets in Kathmandu are covered in darkness as soon as evening falls because Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has not paid proper attention to lamps.
There are many lamps in the street but one has to use torchlight at night.
The government had put new bulbs in Kathmandu streets during the last South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in the city last year. With 400 million rupees of aid from Asian Development Bank, NEA had lightened the streets at that time.
But these lamps have stopped functioning. They gave light for two months and now the streets are covered in darkness.
NEA itself does not know how many lamps are functioning. â€œI donâ€™t know how many of the bulbs work but only few of them give light,â€ Deerghayu Kumar Shrestha, NEA Kathmandu Regional Office Director, acknowledges.
NEA has no plans to light street lamps. We asked Shrestha whether NEA has any plans to repair lamps but he chose to keep mum.
But NEA demands payment of due
Even if street lamps do not work, NEA has been asking MCO to pay dues. It has asked MCO to pay 800 million rupees for using street lamps.
â€œStreet lamps are not functioning but NEA has demanded payment worth millions,â€ MCOâ€™s Tax Section Chief Mahesh Kafle said.
By Subash Bhatta