Missing green action
The lawmakers are people to be respected as they have won the trust of the people to be where they are. The august position, if the times and opportunities permit, becomes further enhanced to be at the helm of affairs. But, when the same lot comes to breaking the laws it is a serious matter and the credibility becomes eroded. One particular instance of the violation of the law has come to light in this daily. It is related with many ministers and even the prime minister moving about in officially sanctioned vehicles without the mandatory “green stickers” as proof of pollution under control or expired ones. It is surprising as to how the vehicles of such important people could be operated without adhering to the anti-pollution norms that came into effect almost a decade back. The question arises as to the enforcement of the provision of the emission standard that is the guideline for ensuring that polluting vehicles are off the road. But, the sad fact remains that the government office that is entrusted with maintaining the legal worthiness of the ministerial fleet have been napping all the while. The traffic police on the other hand is hard put to bring such vehicles under the purview of the law all because they are ferrying VIPs on important assignments of governing the country. The traffic police agree on the offense being punishable under the law but impunity prevails thanks to the positions that the riders are in.
To make matters worse, the disease of not getting the green sticker as proof that the vehicle has passed the standard pollution test set by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology seems to be widespread in vehicles owned and operated by the various government offices and corporations. If this is the case with those who have to be law abiding the most, the general motor owners and operators have to bear the brunt of bookings and penalties. Despite the excellent intentions for reduction in air pollution, especially in the Kathmandu valley, the pollution-monitoring centres are either not enough or are not working. This has been taken as an excuse by many in attempting to evade the law. This is not a good sign for keeping the air clean. It does not matter if the vehicles meet the emission standard but the presentation of the green sticker as a proof is necessary, and the traffic police cannot shirk their responsibility. The law holds good for every citizen, there can be no exception.
As far as pollution is concerned it is necessary
for everyone from the high-ranking to the lowly ranked to cooperate to keep the air clean. With
the yearly heavy increase in the number of vehicles on the road, the problem has become more magnified. Besides, the more-than-twenty-year old vehicles are the biggest polluters. They have to be displaced but the unstable politics and the fear of strikes and bandhs from the transporters have not allowed that to take place. It is ironical that the attempts
to bring down pollution levels have failed because the vehicles of the big ones seem to elude the rules and regulations. It is urgent to do away with
any form of immunity under any pretext and save the people’s health.
The Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital is reporting a rise in the number of rabies cases. Apparently, about 50 new cases of rabies and 150 rabies patients come for treatment to the hospital everyday. Most of the patients have been bitten by stray dogs. The menace of stray dogs has been a feature of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City for long. Actually, there had been attempts to exterminate the stray dogs by administering them poison, but due to opposition from animal rights activists this has been stopped. Now the authorities have chosen to conduct mass anti-rabies vaccination campaigns. So far, 6,000 of the canines have been vaccinated with the target set at 10,000.
This would be a significant achievement but inadequate as the number of stray dogs in the Kathmandu valley is put at around 35,000, and adding. The best option would be to sterilize the dogs and bring into more widespread the regular spraying of female dogs in order to control their population. Meanwhile, there should be cooperation coming from all the concerned bodies so that the menace of rabies can be controlled and for the concerned to take the responsibility.