A traffic policeman showing a taxi driver a vehicle-free zone sign for vehicles in Thamel, Kathmandu, on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Photo Credit: The Himalayan Times

Thamel Declared Vehicle-Free Zone from Yesterday

Thamel, one of the busiest tourist hubs in Kathmandu valley, has finally been declared vehicle-free zone. The campaign was launched successfully on Sunday with the joint efforts of tourism entrepreneurs, local activists, local bodies and Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD).

Sources say that the decision was taken to help tourists and pedestrians get rid of the problems caused by increasing traffic in the area that is one of the busiest tourist hubs throughout the country.

Sammer Gurung, the president of Thamel Tourism Development Council said, “We, along with various stakeholders, have been finally able to implement the long-discussed program to make this tourist center less chaotic by reducing the traffic flow.”

However, some locals and tourism entrepreneurs were seen protesting against Thamel being declared vehicle-free zone. As per the local sources, they were saying that the decision would increase traffic influx in some other areas of Thamel and there would be more tourists in the comparatively peaceful area if the decision came into effect.

One of the protesters said, “We know a single and united Thamel, but with this division of the area on the basis of vehicle flow, we are kept aloof from the known Thamel.” He further added, “Vehicle-free zone should be implemented in the entire area of Thamel.”

Addressing the problems of the protesters, Binod Ghimire, the superintendent of Police at Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said, “We would like to request the agitating parties to show some patience, we will be implementing the rule in the entire area of Thamel in phases.” He further said, “This is a pilot project, and if we get support from all the parties, we will definitely implement this rule in entire Thamel.”

Tourists dragging their luggage along a road after vehicles were banned from entering the tourist hub in Thamel, Kathmandu, on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Photo Credit: The Himalayan Times

Image Credit: The Himalayan Times

Where some of the locals were seen quite unhappy with Thamel being vehicle-free zone, tourists were seen very happy to hear about the new rule. Dayana Egger, one of the tourists visiting Thamel said, “Of course it’s nice, it will reduce noise pollution in the area and help people get rid of the annoyance caused by the traffic.”

Check out our previous article to know more about the new rule of Thamel being declared as the vehicle-free zone. If you have anything to share regarding the implementation of the new rule in the Thamel area, let us know through the comments.



The Himalayan Times