KMC's lighting program in the dark

Published On: February 22, 2019 03:30 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

7.5 pc of required street lamps installed in seven months

KATHMANDU, Feb 22: When the Policies and Programs for fiscal year 2018/19 were launched by Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) at the very start of the current fiscal year, it included a very ambitious program titled the “Mayor Lighting Program.” The program which was allocated a budget of Rs 50 million aimed to install street lamps in all streets in the metropolis within the fiscal year.

However, very little progress has been observed in the program. KMC has realized the need for 16,000 street lamps to light up every street in the metropolis. But officials from the KMC have said that only about 1,200 street lamps have been installed in the metropolis in the first seven months of the fiscal year.

“We have installed about 1,200 street lamps as of now,” Spokesperson for KMC, Ishwar Dangol, told Republica, “There is a lot to do to complete the project on time.” He added that the Mayor Lighting Program is only intended for the streets which are of a width less than eight meters and that the Department of Roads has taken the responsibility of installing street lamps in the roads wider than eight meters.

The metropolis had set the initial target of identifying the areas which need street lamps and readying the budget in the first trimester and installing the street lamps in the second trimester. However, with only a month remaining in the second trimester, the metropolis has installed just 7.5 percent lamps.

Dangol claimed that the works were delayed since the ward offices submitted the report for the lamps late. “The ward offices prepared the report on the need for street lamps very late,” he said, “It has only been weeks since we realized that 16,000 street lamps need to be installed in the metropolis.”

He added that the project cannot be completed in the current fiscal year since the budget of Rs 50 million will not be enough to install the targeted 16,000 lamps. “The budget will not be enough to meet our target of lighting up every nook and corner of the metropolis,” he said.

Dangol also claimed that the works related to the program were delayed also because the metropolis had to coordinate with various authorities for the project. “We did not realize that the procedure for the coordination with Nepal Electricity Authority and Department of Roads for the program would take so much time,” he said, “However, we have decided that we will take the leadership of the program now.”

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