SC orders govt to bar heavy vehicles from BP Highway

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 5, 2018-The Supreme Court on Monday issued an interim order to the government to bar heavy vehicles from the BP Highway.

Responding to a writ petition against the decisionto allow large vehicles to ply the highway that links Kathmandu with the eastern Tarai, a single bench of Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla directed the government to not allow heavy vehicles on the congested highway.

The government on May 27 decided to allow vehicles having up to 32 seats and cargo vehicles weighing up to 16.2 tonnes to ply the 158-kilometre highway, the shortest route connecting the Capital with Bardibas on the East West Highway.The decision was said to have come as a direct intervention of Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth.

Hearing on the writ filed by Advocate and resident of Sindhuli district Keshavraj Dahal, the court ordered the agencies concerned not to implement the government’s decision—which contradicts that of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM)—unless the road is expanded and upgraded.

According to a DoTM letter dated June 24, 2016, route permits would not be given to heavy vehicles without the road being expanded and upgraded.Taking the letter as reference, the SC order said, “Allowing heavy vehicles on the road could cause accidents and pose serious threat to public life and property.” The decision was based on the report of a technical committee formed on August 24, 2016.

According to DoTM Spokesperson Tulsi Ram Aryal, the road was opened for large public vehicles based on studies conducted by three separate teams at different times. As per the decision, public and cargo vehicles would be allowed to run during specified periods of time. Public buses would be permitted to use the road from 5am to 8pm while cargo vehicles and trucks could ply between 9pm and 5am.

Published: 05-06-2018 07:00

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