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Ban on vehicles older than 20 years comes in to effect from today

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KATHMANDU — The ban on public vehicles older than 20 years cae in to efect from Thursday across the country. The decision aims to curb vehicle congestion, reduce pollution emitted by old and poorly maintained vehicles that increase the risk of accidents.

Th government in 2017 February, had decided to ban public vehicles older than 20 years from plying inside Kathmandu Valley. Earlier in January 2015 too, the government had made such a commitment, but the authorities failed to enforce the decision strictly.

Director General Rupnarayan Bhattrai at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said that the traffic police will seize old vehicles seen plying the roads.

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“The DoTM has already informed traffic police to seize the licence of drivers behind the wheel of such vehicles and impound the vehicles.”

The rule, however, exempts tempos and electric vehicles.

The DoTM has also ordered to seize vehicles older than 20 years, not to renew the documents of the vehicle and scrap the route permit.

The DoTM estimates 10,000 such vehicles ply all over the country, including 5,500 in the Capital.

According to the traffic police, owners of these vehicles ply in the rural parts of the country and used to ferry students, office staffers and passengers all over with the rickety old machines, emitting plumes of smoke containing carbon monoxide and other noxious exhaust.

Transport owners have denounced the department’s decision saying it is unscientific decision and they would incur losses.

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World mourns death of Kofi Annan

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GENEVA — Leaders across the world expressed their condolences following the death of Former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan. World leaders praised Annan’s contributions and expressed their admiration for the long-time UN statesman.

Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the UN who rose through its ranks to become its first black African secretary-general, died on Saturday morning in Bern, Switzerland

Antonio Guterres, the current UN chief, described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good.”

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations…He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” Guterres said.

The United Nations has lowered its flags to half-mast. At UN headquarters in New York, the UN flags flew at half-mast and a bouquet of flowers was placed under Mr Annan’s portrait.

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Tributes flowed in from around the world after his foundation announced his death in the Swiss capital, Bern, after a short and unspecified illness.

The statement remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner as “radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did”.

Annan had served two terms as UN secretary-general in New York from 1997-2006, retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

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