Thamel declared a vehicle-regulated zone

Kathmandu, July 25:

The Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC) today declared the Thamel area, a tourist hub, a vehicle-regulated zone.

The move was taken considering the increasing number of vehicles and environment pollution in the area.

Spread in about two square feet, Thamel is one of the most important tourist destinations of the country.

Unchecked urbanisation and chaotic traffic have obstructed the movement of tourists in the area and also contributed to air pollution.

Declaring Thamel a vehicle-regulated area at a programme, Namgyal Lama, president of the TTDC, said, “Thamel has narrow streets and chaotic traffic has put the future of the entire area in peril.”

Marking the World Tourism Day, the declaration will be formally implemented from September 27, he said. According to the TTDC, entry of vehicles through eight points of Thamel will be barred, humps will be constructed at different places, parking area for taxies will be designated in front of Sanchaya Kosh building and shops constructed by encroaching the roads will be closed.

However, there will be no obstruction for the movement of motorbikes, cycles, rickshaws, ambulances, and security vehicles and vehicles of diplomatic missions and tourists. The TTDC has also decided to provided special passes to the vehicles of the locals and the business houses of Thamel.

Padma Sundar Joshi, executive director of the Centre for the Urban Integrated Development (CUID), said, “On an average, 44,925 vehicles ply the area 12 hours every day. Data have shown that air in the area is unhealthy.”

He stressed the need to strike a balance between the environment, people’s need and business.