KATHMANDU, July 4: The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has so far released Rs 990 million of the total Rs 1 billion allocated for installing solar street lamps in municipalities under the ministry's Solar Power Stree Lamps installation program.
The amount was released to 96 municipalities that submitted proposal for the purpose to the ministry.
The MoFALD released the budget as envisioned by the government in a program entitled “Solar Power Street Lamps installation program with the participation of the public” which was unveiled by the ministry in February.
Joint Secretary at the MoFALD Gopi Krishna Khanal said that the ministry has so far released Rs 990 million while the total amount proposed altogether by the 96 municipalities is Rs 3.4 billion.
With a view to ensure public participation and involvement of concerned municipality in the program, the locals and the municipality have to cover certain percentage of the total cost for the installment.
The ministry has been planning to install solar street lamps in all the municipalities and urbanized areas of Village Development Committees (VDCs) across the county. While only 96 municipalities out of 217 have shown their interest toward the government program.
“We have approved the program of all the interested municipalities who had come up with a proposal on launching the solar program in their areas as announced by the government. But most of other municipalities have so far not expressed their interest,” he informed.
The ministry had decided to expand installation of solar street lamps in all the municipalities and urbanized VDCs as per the policy of promoting alternative energy in the country.
The ministry has planned to provide 60 percent of the total budget to install the solar power street lamps in metropolitan city. The metropolitan city office will provide 25 percent of the total budget while the remaining 15 percent of the budget will be collected from locals. The capital city Kathmandu is the only metropolitan city in the country.
However, in the case of municipalities and VDCs, the ministry will cover 65 percent of the total budget for the program while the local bodies will have to provide 20 percent of the total budget and the remaining 15 percent of the budget will be collected from locals.