Kathmandu, October 22
With joint efforts of tourism entrepreneurs, local activists, local bodies and Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Thamel has been declared no-vehicle zone from today.
It is said that the decision was taken to help tourists and pedestrians get rid of problems caused by increasing traffic in the area. Thamel is one of the busiest tourist hubs in the country.
President of Thamel Tourism Development Council Sameer Gurung said, “We, along with various stakeholders, have been finally able to implement the long discussed programme to make this tourist centre less chaotic by reducing traffic flow.”
Some locals and tourism entrepreneurs, however, are seen protesting against the decision. They say that this decision will increase traffic influx in some other areas of Thamel and there will be more tourists in the comparatively peaceful area if they the decision comes into effect.
A protester who refused to reveal his identity said, “We know a single and united Thamel but with this division of the area on the basis vehicle flow, we are kept aloof from the known Thamel.” He further said, “No vehicle zone should be implemented in entire Thamel.”
Superintendent of Police at Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division Binod Ghimire addressing the problem of protesters said, “We would like to request the agitating parties to show some patience, we will be implementing this rule in entire Thamel area in phases.” SP Ghimire said, “This is a pilot project, and if we get support from all parties we will definitely implement this rule in entire Thamel.” Tourists, however, are happy to hear about the new rule. Dayana Egger, 25, from France who has visited Nepal several times said, “Of course it’s nice, it will reduce noise pollution in the area and help people get rid of annoyance caused by traffic.”
A version of this article appears in print on October 23, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.