KATHMANDU — Thamel, the main tourist hub of Kathmandu, has been declared vehicle-free-zone on Sunday(22 October) which came into effect from the day itself.
A joint decision of Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) and Thamel Area Development Council, along with local leaders, gathered on the spot Sunday and formally announced the drive by placing several “Vehicle Free Zone” boards on the streets.
The Division Chief Sarbendra Khanal and Council Chair Sameer Gurung among other officials jointly launched the campaign.
The drive aims to make the movement of tourists hassle-free, ensure safety of pedestrians and make Thamel a more livable place in Kathmandu. This initiative is part of a long-term vision of promoting this popular tourist destination as a walking zone as in other tourist spots of the world.
It is stated that the decision was taken with the aim of lessening the increasing annoyance caused by busy traffic to tourists and pedestrians in the area. The area is one of the busiest tourist hubs in the country.
According to MTPD Spokesperson Umesh Ranjitkar, all kinds of vehicles, including bicycles, rickshaws and three-wheelers will be banned from entering the restricted zone but the vehicles used for security bodies, diplomatic agencies, tourists, and ambulance and fire engines will be permitted.
“Thamel is facing traffic congestion since long due to haphazard movement of unwanted vehicles. There is also sound pollution and tourists have to face various hassles so we have launched this drive to make Thamel well managed.”
Vehicles have been restricted into certain routes only as it is not a complete blanket ban on vehicular movement inside the Thamel.
Spokesperson Ranjitkar added that vehicles permitted for restricted zone should enter from Tridevi Marg.
In its preliminary phase, the vehicle-free zone has covered a few road sections, but has been planned to expand gradually. The Division has further shared that it has planned to manage permit card for emergency vehicles to enter Thamel.
The Division has managed vehicles parking areas at Lainchaur, Khusibu and Sohrakhutte areas to make the campaign effective and successful.Follow @gorkhapost
Country marking today as Black Day
KATHMANDU- The country is marking today (December 16) as Black Day to protest the disposition of the first democratically elected government by the late former king Mahendra Shah on December 15, 1960.
Mahendra took charge of the state with the help of the then Royal Nepali Army and formulated the Panchayat System by overthrowing the elected government led by B.P. Koirala and dissolving the parliament.
Various programmes are scheduled on the occasion.Follow @gorkhapost