Kathmandu, December 17
The government is preparing to ban all public vehicles that are 20 years old or more across the country from mid-March. Currently, such out-dated public vehicles are banned in Kathmandu Valley. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) had imposed a ban on such vehicles in the Valley from March 1.
After successfully interdicting 20-year-old public vehicles from Valley, DoTM officials said transport entrepreneurs have already been informed not to operate such vehicles anywhere in the country from mid-March, informed Tok Raj Pandey, spokesperson for DoTM.
DoTM started phasing out such vehicles from the country with a view to curb vehicular pollution and manage traffic in the nation.
“Such old vehicles are one of the many causes for congested traffic and pollution. Once we are able to phase out all vehicles above 20 years of age, it will ease vehicular movement in city areas and minimise pollution,” said Pandey.
As per DoTM’s estimation, there are almost 5,000 20-year-old vehicles plying the roads of the country and almost 2,500 such vehicles were being operated in the Valley. However, Pandey claimed that almost all 20-year-old vehicles have already been phased out from Kathmandu Valley.
“Operating 20-year-old vehicles in the country after mid-March will be against the law and DoTM will take action against transport entrepreneurs if they are found operating such old vehicles after the given deadline,” said Pandey.
Citing that such old vehicles are not technically fit to be operated and are also prone to accidents, Pandey informed that DoTM will cancel the route permit of all such old vehicles from mid-March.
However, transport entrepreneurs have been seeking incentives from the government before phasing out old vehicles citing that prohibiting transporters to run their vehicles will put their investments at risk.
“Transport entrepreneurs have injected huge investment while procuring their vehicles. The government should first take the responsibility of transport entrepreneurs’ investment before enforcing the ban,” said Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association.
Similarly, automobile dealers have been urging government to ban vehicles on the basis of their fitness rather than age.
A version of this article appears in print on December 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.