Print Edition - 2015-12-20 | News
Guideline delay pegs back Transport Policy-2014
- environment-friendly vehicle
The policy proposes- Waiving import duties on green public vehicles- Easing the route permit procedure for them- Setting up charging stations across the country- Developing infrastructure for bicycles, trams, trolleys and electric rails
Dec 20, 2015-Delay in the approval of guidelines on green vehicles by the Transport Ministry has created confusion in the Transport Department and the traffic police, the two agencies responsible for enforcing the rules.
The Department of Transport Management two weeks ago forwarded the guidelines necessary for implementing the Environment-friendly Vehicle and Transport Policy-2014 to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport for approval. However, officials are clueless about what the ministry is doing about the paper.Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has written to the department seeking explanation on the rules and regulations that govern electric vehicles, which have become increasingly popular in the Valley of late. Traders have started selling electric scooters that do not need registration or the licence to ride amid an acute shortage of petrol created by the Indian blockade. “What happens if somebody dies in an accident involving an electric scooter?” MTPD chief DIG Jaya Prakash Chand questioned. “How are we going to find and prosecute the rider without a number plate and a driving licence?”
The Transport Department, which registers and regulates motor vehicles, had formulated the guidelines following a directive from the parliamentary development committee on November 9 to implement the transport policy.
Among other things, the policy proposes waiving import duties on green public vehicles, easing the route permit procedure for them, setting up charging stations across the country and developing infrastructure for bicycles, trams, trolleys and electric rails. Vehicles that run on alternative fuel, especially electric vehicles, have emerged as a viable option for Nepalis as the import of fossil fuel can be hampered by diplomatic shocks, like the current embargo imposed by India. Due to the fuel crisis, vehicles plying on the streets have decreased by more than half.
Although the government has allowed green vehicles to operate for long, a lack of concrete policy for promoting them has been a major setback. Electric trolley buses, which began operating in the Valley in 1975, were shut down in 2009 due to a management problem. Likewise, battery-powered Safa-tempos which emerged in 1999, are extremely limited as they cannot compete with fossil fuel-run vehicles.
In Kathmandu Valley, there are around 200 routes for public vehicles, of which only 25 are used by the electric three-wheelers and gas-powered micro-buses.
Published: 20-12-2015 09:18