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SC stays govt decision allowing heavy vehicles along BP Highway

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KATHMANDU — The Supreme Court has issued an interim order staying the government’s decision that allowed 32-seater passenger buses and vehicles weighing over 16 tons to ply on the BP Highway.

A single bench of Justice Sapana Malla Pradhan, hearing a writ petition filed by advocate Kailash Dahal, on Monday, has issued an interim order to the government to not implement the decision to allow heavy vehicles along the highway.

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The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport on May 27 had allowed 32-seater passenger buses and trucks weighing 16 tons (including cargo) to ply in the highway.

Two previous studies had found that the highway can handle load of up to 10 tons and recommended that only 18-seater vehicles, and trucks weighing less than 10 tons should use the highway.

But the ministry, ignoring the previous studies, allowed 32-seater buses and trucks weighing 16 tons to ply along the highway.

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US to provide 4 Sky Trucks to Nepal Army

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KATHMANDU — The government of the United States is providing four Sky Trucks, light cargo and passenger aircraft, to the Nepal Army for rescue and disaster response efforts.

Two of the four Sky Trucks that will arrive in Kathmandu by 2020. Those two aircrafts will be newly manufactured while the rest will be refurbished aircraft.

The Army is running short of aircraft, with just around a dozen of heavy, medium, and light transport helicopters comprising its fleet.

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According to the US Embassy in Nepal, the value of the four aircraft is $35.5 million.

The US government had pledged the aid during an outgoing Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri’s visit to the United States in April 2016. The US government, during Chhetri’s visit to the US, had pledged to provide Nepal Army with four aircraft within two years.

During his farewell speech on August 8, Chhetri highlighted the US support as one of the significant achievements of his tenure.

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