We should be open to upgrade standards of new vehicles that will ply the roads if that is what is needed to control air pollution – Minister for Population and Environment Lalbabu Pandit
Kathmandu, March 1
In a bid to control the worsening air pollution in the country, the government is mulling over halting import of vehicles that don’t meet Euro IV norms.
Joint Secretary at Ministry of Population and Environment Laxmi Kumari Basnet said the ministry was doing groundwork to ban import of vehicles that didn’t meet Euro IV standards. “We are coordinating with government bodies and stakeholders before banning import of vehicles not meeting Euro IV standards,” she told THT over phone.
Minister for Population and Environment Lalbabu Pandit said he had instructed ministry officials to do the needful to ensure that the ban was imposed effectively. “We should be open to upgrade standards of new vehicles that will ply the roads if that is what is needed to control air pollution,” the minister said.
While the government has not set any specific deadline for rolling out its plans, automobile dealers have welcomed the government’s initiative. Saurav Jyoti, former president of the Nepal Automobile Dealers Association, said NADA should support the move. He said, “Since India has already implemented Bharat Stage IV standards, which is almost equivalent to Euro IV, it will be easier for us to upgrade.”
According to him, prices of vehicles could rise by up to five per cent with import of vehicles meeting Euro IV norms.
The European Emission Standards refer to the acceptable limit of emission of harmful gases that a vehicle emits. While there are a number of Euro IV vehicles plying the roads of Nepal, most vehicles meet Euro I, Euro II or Euro III standards.
Earlier, Minister Pandit had vowed to ban vehicles without green stickers within metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities from the first day of Nepali calendar (April 14).
The government will effectively implement the ban on all public vehicles older than 20 years across the country from mid-March. When this new rule comes into force, vehicles that meet only Euro I norms will be taken off the roads, according to Tulsi Ram Aryal, director of Department of Transport Management.
The Nepal Oil Corporation has been distributing Euro IV standard petroleum products in the country ever since the Indian Oil Corporation started delivering fuel that meets Euro IV norms after the Supreme Court of India banned registration and sale of vehicles that only conform to Bharat Stage III emission standards on April 1.
A version of this article appears in print on March 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.