old public vehicles to be banned countrywide. Image Credit: The Kathmandu Post

Old Public Vehicles To Be Banned Countrywide From March

The Government has announced to ban old public vehicles across the country from March 15, 2018. The vehicles that are more than 20 years old fall on the category of old vehicles that are going to be banned countrywide in order to reduce the environmental pollution.

The Department of Transport Management (DoTM), under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said that the rule would be strictly implemented with an objective to reduce vehicle congestions, controlling air-pollution deriving from vehicle emissions, and reduce road accidents that might happen with old vehicles plying on roads across the nation.

The campaign to take down the old public vehicles was firstly introduced in January 2015. However, for some reason, the rule didn’t really come into implementation.

Likewise, on March 1 last year, the Government banned old public vehicles—older than 20 years—from operating inside Kathmandu Valley. The rule sure did come into existence for a few weeks but was not implemented strictly afterward.

The department booked less than a dozen such vehicles in the past year.

In addition to the subject, DoTM General, Rup Narayan Bhattarai conceded that the decision had been ineffective. He said, “It is because the owners didn’t bring out their old vehicles as we came up with the new regulation.”

Some of the transport entrepreneurs claim that many people who own second-hand vehicles will incur huge losses if the ban is imposed without proper planning.

Saroj Sitaula, General Secretary of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs said, “Before imposing the ban, the Government should provide customs subsidies and self-employment facilities to the owners of old vehicles.”

According to the DoTM, out of more than 5,500 vehicles across the country, around 2,000 vehicles are over 20-year-old ones.

Unlike in the past, the DoTM has insisted to make sure the ban to be strictly enforced this time. According to the Director of DoTM, Tulsi Ram Aryal, the transport offices in all provinces will be carrying out inspections of vehicles documents with the help of traffic police.

Arya said, “The documents of the vehicles older than 20 years will not be renewed nor will they be issued with road permits.” He further added, “Anyone found violating the rule will be fined up to NPR. 5000 under the Transport Management Regulation Act.  The DoTM in coordination with traffic police will conduct inspections three times a week in the Valley and once a week outside the Capital.

Environmentalists from around the country have also agreed and welcomed the Government move, saying that old vehicles are one of the major factors contributing to environmental pollution in the country.

Bhusan Tuladhar, an environmentalist and technical advisor for South Asia, UN-Habitat said, “This announcement was in fact made two years ago, but the government could not implement at the time due to lack of political will.”

Well, let’s hope this time the Government will enforce the rule strictly and ban old public vehicles for a better environment across the country.

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News Reference: The Kathmandu Post