Lighting up Capital for Saarc and beyond

solar_street_lightKATHMANDU, OCT 23 – The authorities have discouraged the use of decorative electric lights at homes during the Tihar festival this year, but major roads in the Capital will be effulgent under the light cast by recently installed solar powered street lamps.

Installed as a part of Saarc Summit beautification project to welcome the international dignitaries, these solar lights will also complement the festival of lights this year.

After the completion of solar street light project in Durbarmarg, the government decided to replicate the exemplary model in other parts of the city. A few important roads were selected for the project, lamps and solar panels were imported, and workers were hired.  Thus began the long awaited dream of building a capital city that is brilliantly lit at night.

The solar street lamp installation project in the Capital is expected to be completed by the first week of November. To achieve the deadline, the authorities concerned have been working day and night shifts, installing the lamp posts and lights. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has taken most of the responsibility for installing these street lights.

On the first phase of the project, NEA plans to light up the major routes of Kathmandu , including Tribhuvan International Airport-Maitighar, Thapathali-Soaltee Mode, Maitighar-City Hall, and Tundikhel-Ranipokhari. The Tripureshwor-Jamal road will also to be equipped with solar street lamps before the Saarc Summit. The second phase of the project is expected to be completed by next year. The installation works will continue even after the regional meeting.

According to Ram Prasad Dhital, expert on solar technology and also chief of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), the government has made a wise decision by investing on solar technology. “Solar is very sustainable technology and requires less maintenance, if installed with quality battery and panel,” said Dhital. “Given proper care, these lights can last for over ten years.”

Dhital said that each pole with its set system can cost from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 depending on the quality. The new enhanced technology allows the system to automatically dim down the lights with the sensor technology that can identify the available day light. Most of the solar lights being installed in the streets of Kathmandu have the luminosity of 40 watts.

 “Only cleaning the panels once in a while with minimal battery care can generate a maximum output and longevity to the system” said Dhital. Even the equipped lights will last the minimum of 50,000 hours. Each LED bulb receptacle comes with its own power backup system and solar panel for ease of maintenance and functionality.

Together with NEA, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is also preparing to oversee the solar street light project being launched at Kesharmahal-Maharajgunj road. “We have already had a successful share launching the project in Durbarmarg. Now we plan to light up another major road of the city,” said KMC chief Dhana Bahadur Shrestha.

Besides the major roads, the authorities also plan to light up heritage sites of Kathmandu Valley, including the Durbar squares at Kathmandu , Bhaktapur and Lalitpur.

Source : eKantipur