Chandan Kumar Mandal, The Kathmandu Post, 16 Dec 2017
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) is planning to enforce vehicle emissions standards throughout the country in an effort to address the problem of air pollution.
It has decided to buy 40 sets of emission test devices to enforce this regulation.
“We have already opened the bidding process to buy new devices. Once the procurement is completed, we can go ahead with our plan of enforcing vehicle emissions standards nationwide,” said DoTM Director General Rup Narayan Bhattarai.
Currently, there are only two emission testing machines, one with the Ekantkuna office of the DoTM and another with the Vehicle Fitness Test Centre in Teku. Fewer machines and limited manpower have kept the authorities from conducting emission tests on vehicles outside Kathmandu Valley, said Bhattarai.
The DoTM hopes that vehicle emissions regulation would help bring down air pollution level.
According to Bhattarai, the department will conduct emissions test of vehicles from all its 19 offices throughout the country once the test devices have been bought.
The new regulation is expected to come into effect from March next year.
With the emissions standard becoming mandatory, the DoTM is also planning to issue green stickers for vehicles that have passed the emissions test. The green sticker provision will be implemented in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Lumbini in the first phase.
“No vehicles will be allowed to enter the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Lumbini if they don’t have the green stickers,” said Bhattarai.
At the present, the green sticker provision is mandatory only for those vehicles entering Singh Durbar, Tribhuvan International Airport and those plying the Putalisadak road.
After growing concerns about deteriorating of air-quality, the government had come up with measures aimed at improving the air quality. Last month, a “Quick Action Team” consisting of various concerned stakeholders was formed to address the problem of air pollution.
The first meeting of the team had decided to buy vehicle emission test devices and monitor vehicle emissions, among others. The first emissions test was conducted inside Singh Durbar.
This week, random vehicle emissions tests were carried out in Durbar Marg and Bhadrakali. These tests revealed that a majority of vehicles, especially public vehicles, had emissions level higher than the standards set by the government.