Twenty-year-old public vehicles to be banned

Kathmandu, February 5

The government has decided to ban public vehicles that are 20 years or older across the nation from March 15 onwards. Such vehicles were banned in Kathmandu Valley last year.

On 14 March  2016, the Cabinet decided to remove old public vehicles as per the five-year strategic plan proposed by the Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry by 14 March 2018. The Department of Transport Management had already banned 2,500 old vehicles from the Kathmandu in the first phase of the plan.

DoTM officials said they had already informed the public to scrap vehicles older than 20 years across the country in second phase of the project. They warned that such vehicles will  either be confiscated or face legal action if found operating after the deadline.

Officials of Department of Transport Management further said that the ban would help to curb vehicular pollution and manage smooth traffic within the country. The ban will  remove around 2,500 public vehicles from the country.

Director of DoTM Tulsi Ram Aryal said that they wanted to remove all kinds of old vehicles but they did not have proper law to carry out the action. Aryal further stated,

“We do not have authority to ban all kinds of vehicles that are hazardous to the environment and we are bound by vehicle and transportation regulations 1997 that will not allow us to make decisions on private vehicles.”

DoTM officials suggested that using old public vehicles made people prone to accidents and they were also one of the main causes of pollution.

Public vehicle operators are not satisfied with the new rule. Rail Bahadur Tamang, a taxi-driver said that he had invested a lot of money to buy a taxi and he would be out of work once it was scrapped.

“I have been driving this taxi for the last 15 years, and I have taken good care of it. I am confident that this can last 15 years more. But, if I have to scrap it in the next five years, I will be unemployed at the age of 40, and will not be able to start a new profession.”