Pashupati area declared ‘no-go zone’ for vehicles

Kathmandu, December 26

Pashupatinath temple complex has been declared a ‘no-go zone’ for vehicles, except ambulance and hearse, with effect from today.

The temple complex is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1979. The complex on the banks of the Bagmati River has centuries-old temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions. The decision to make the complex a ‘no-go zone’ for vehicles was taken jointly by Pashupati Area Development Trust and Metropolitan Traffic Police Division in a bid to ease increasing traffic congestion in the area.

“The temple complex was declared vehicle-free zone bearing in mind environmental pollution and convenience of devotees. It will create more space for devotees and tourists to spend quality time in the area,” said DIG Sarbendra Khanal, MTPD in-charge.

With this decision, no vehicle will be allowed to pass through Dakshina Murti, Itapakha-Bhuwaneshwor Chowk, Dathutol-Annapurna Bhandar, Gaushala-Bhuwaneshwor Chowk, Bankali Dharmashala-Bakuntol and Char Shivalaya-Dakshin Gate.

Gaurishankar Parajuli, PADT administrative officer, said the vehicle ban, however, would not be applicable for ambulances and hearses. “This effort will not only help regulate vehicular traffic, but also provide enough space for pedestrians,” he informed. It is expected to make the temple complex free from traffic chaos and air pollution.

People visiting the temple complex may park their vehicles at Bankali and Umakunda area, according to MTPD. Special passes has been issued to persons whose houses are located within the temple area. Local clubs have also expressed solidarity with the initiative. Earlier, a section of Thamel was declared a ‘no-go zone’ for vehicles.