Singha Durbar-Putalisadak road still in dark—so is KMC

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Despite repeated media coverage about broken street lamps on the Singha Durbar-Putalisadak stretch, the authorities concerned have not taken any initiative to fix them.

As the road travels along the perimeter of Singha Durbar, the country’s main administrative hub that has several government ministries and agencies, common consensus dictates that the lighting infrastructure in the area should be in full working condition—both for safety and reputation reasons. But the solar-powered street lamps on the road have not turned on for over a decade.

On October 24 last year, the Post had reported on the status of these street lamps. Then, Nama Raj Dhakal, joint spokesperson at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, had said that the city authority was unaware about the matter and vowed to look into it immediately.

More than three months have passed since the story was published, and still the street lamps have not been repaired.

When the Post contacted the KMC Spokesperson Ishwor Man Dangol to enquire about the broken street lamps on Monday, he said he was unaware—just as Dhakal.

 “We have got many problems related to solar lamps, we will soon install solar lamps in the area,” he said.

 Puja Manandhar, who runs a shop in front of the Singha Durbar Gate 2, said the broken street lamps had raised safety concerns for the local residents and passers-by walking at night.

“It’s been over a decade since I moved here after my marriage, and I haven’t seen any of these lamps light up,” Manandhar told the Post.

In 2016, the KMC had reached an agreement with BK Traders and Suppliers on installing 1,285 solar-powered street lamps in different parts of Kathmandu. But installing street lamps around Singha Durbar was not part of the agreement. Two years before that, the Nepal Electricity Authority and the KMC had also launched a solar lamp project in Kathmandu. Then, too, the Singha Durbar-Putalisadak road was ignored.

“We live next to Singha Durbar where every important decision of this country is made, and yet it feels like we are in a remote village once the sun has set,” said Dipendra Rijal, a grocer who has been living in the neighbourhood for the past 15 years.

The lack of working street lamps have also increased the risk of traffic accidents in the area.

“Working lamps would certainly have improved night time road safety in the area,” said SSP Basanta Kumar Panta, chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

The main office of the division is based in the same neighbourhood.

 

Source : The Kathmandu Post