‘Discourage import of small vehicles’

Kathmandu, June 21

The Parliamentary Committee on Commerce, Industry and Consumer Welfare Relation has directed the government to adopt policies and programmes that discourage the import of small vehicles like motorcycles, cars, jeeps and vans citing that the surging import of these vehicles has been adding to traffic management woes in major cities of the country.

The meeting today pointed out that increasing number of vehicles in the country is the reason behind traffic chaos and has asked the government to control the growth of vehicle import and give high priority to means of mass public transportation.

“Though vehicle import is one of the chief sources of revenue for the government, there has to be scientific growth in the import of vehicles,” Subash Chandra Thakuri, coordinator of the committee, said, adding that the government should ensure systematic operation of heavy vehicles in cities and should prioritise public means of transportation over private vehicles.

Similarly, the committee also directed the government to expedite the construction of flyovers and underpasses and proper zebra-crossings in different places as per need. Likewise, it also directed the government to incorporate different measures to ensure hassle-free public transportation in the planned Public Transportation Policy and get it endorsed from the Cabinet and the Parliament as soon as possible.

Addressing the meeting, Secretary of Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Dhana Bahadur Tamang, said the recent ban on 20-year-old public vehicles from Kathmandu Valley has provided slight respite to traffic management. Informing that the increasing number of vehicles will worsen traffic management in the country, Tamang said that the government should initiate the process to fix the lifespan of vehicles to 10 years like in some developed countries and discard them after that.

“We can discourage such old vehicles also by increasing the taxes applicable on them every year if the owner wants to operate them even after their fixed lifespan is over,” he added.