Motoring|

Nepal capital Kathmandu drives old bangers off city streets

traffic jam KathmanduAuthorities in the Nepali city of Kathmandu last week inaugurated legislation which will see public vehicles over 20 years old consigned to the scrapheap. D-Day for the banishment of the smoke belching buses, minibuses, taxis and other veteran bangers was last Wednesday.

Police officers and Department of Transport Management inspectors were out in force in the Kathmandu Valley to ensure drivers and public transport operators were complying. The department’s Tok Raj Pandey told reporters that the checkpoints had unearthed only one rogue, elderly taxi on the roads.

He added that everybody concerned knew the day of reckoning was coming two years beforehand and most had junked their old junkers in preparation. The vehicles targeted in the campaign to alleviate continually worsening smog in the Himalayan capital city were ones with black license plates.

At the time the government of Nepal announced the implementation date for the ban two years ago there were an estimated 2,500 vehicles over 20 years old on the roads of Kathmandu and the surrounding area. The Transport Department noted that an estimated 40 per cent of the smoke shrouding the valley had been caused by emissions from vehicle exhausts.

Kathmandu is the initial phase of a campaign which will eventually take aged vehicles off the roads of the tiny Himalayan mountain nation. The deadline for this is March 2018. Drivers who break the law by driving public vehicles past their sell-by dates face having them seized and scrapped plus fines of NPR5,000 (£38).

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