E-vehicles to combat increasing air pollution

Kathmandu, May 29

The government is all set to promote operation of electric buses in Kathmandu valley and major cities of all provinces in its bid to control air pollution.

Unveiling the budget for the fiscal 2019-20 at the Parliament, Minister of Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada said the government would encourage and promote operation of emission-free vehicles to combat air pollution. He informed that he had allocated Rs 1.53 billion for improvement of transport management.

According to Minister Khatiwada, the government will make public transport system competitive and systematic. “E-card system will be introduced for payment of transport fair, while enhancing reliability of public transport,” he said.

For the purpose of e-vehicles, the government will establish adequate number of charging stations, in coordination with Nepal Electricity Authority. There is a plan to set up vehicle fitness test centre in Kathmandu and all provinces, by making it mandatory for periodic emission test of vehicles. “The government will also prioritise and encourage the use of mass transportation in cities,” Minister Khatiwada said.

Electric vehicles and non-motorised transport can play an important role in reducing emission load in cities like Kathmandu where rising level of pollution has become a major health concern, according to the government.

Vehicular emission is the major cause of deteriorating air quality in urban areas, where it is aggravated by substandard or adulterated fuel, narrow and poorly maintained streets, poor traffic management, old vehicles and poor vehicular maintenance.