By Aashish Mishra Lalitpur, July 21: Lalitpur Metropolitan City (LMC) has started using Nepal Sambat, in addition to Bikram Sambat, to date its official documents. The decision was passed by the municipal assembly and came into effect from July 16. This move aims to help in the preservation and promotion of Nepal Sambat, according to Raju Maharjan, spokesperson for LMC. He said, “The Metropolitan City wants to go beyond simple slogans, promote the use of this indigenous calendar of our country and help in protecting it.” However, Nepal Sambat is a lunar calendar. Hence, its dating system is not fixed. It is based on tithis (lunar phases) and the problem is that sometimes, more than one tithi falls on the same day and other times, the same tithi spans multiple days. This makes the dates very fluid. Therefore, LMC will not be using the calendar for its judicial activities.“We do not want there to be confusion and controversy in LMC’s judicial functions,” Maharjan said. Nevertheless, the metro’s adoption of Nepal Sambat has made Lalitpur’s inhabitants happy. “Nepal Sambat is one of our national Sambats. So, it is very encouraging to see it coming into use at the city level,” said Purnachandi resident Ram Krishna Maharjan. Nepal Sambat was declared the national era of Nepal in 2007. Similarly, Pragati Karki, who lives in Talchhikhel, was pleased that LMC had acknowledged the sentiments of its community members. “This step recognises the value that Nepal Sambat holds for the Newar citizens of the valley and the country. In my opinion, other municipalities of Kathmandu should follow suit,” she said. Meanwhile, to address the dating anomalies and make it appropriate for official use, a solar version of the Nepal Sambat calendar has been introduced. The new calendar will come into public use from the next Nepal Sambat year 1141, which begins from the day of Mha Puja during Tihar.