Regulator defers plan to ban vehiclesThe Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has deferred its plan to ban vehicles failing emission standards from the beginning of Nepali New Year (April 14) to July 17 this year.
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has deferred its plan to ban vehicles failing emission standards from the beginning of Nepali New Year (April 14) to July 17 this year.
The government department has issued a public notice informing the change. This is the second change made by the DoTM.
DoTM Spokesperson Tulsi Ram Aryal said the department pushed back the plan to ban vehicles failing emission test because of the delay in importing the equipment. It had conducted the bidding process and awarded the contract of procuring equipment from Australia and New Zealand to a private company.
“The vendor has informed us they are likely to ship the equipment between May 29 and June 3,” Aryal said. “It will take some time for us to install them in transport offices in the major cities across the country.”
The department has ordered 40 sets of emission testing devices. Currently, there are two emission-testing machines—at the DoTM’s Ekantakuna office and at the Vehicle Fitness Test Centre (VFTC) in Teku.
In a bid to reduce environmental pollution caused by emissions from poorly maintained vehicles, the DoTM plans to ban vehicles that fail government emission norms in all metropolitan cities and sub-metropolitan cities.
The DoTM will issue green stickers for vehicles that pass the emission test in Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and Lumbini in the first phase. Currently, the green sticker is mandatory only for vehicles entering country’s administrative centre Singha Durbar and the Tribhuvan International Airport.
The government decided to check emission levels of vehicles after results of tests at a few locations in Kathmandu revealed a majority higher emission levels compared to the standard set by the government.
Apart from procuring machines, the department had also sent a team under the leadership of VFTC Chief Ram Chandra Paudel to a number of cities in India to study its system of checking vehicular emissions major cities.
The quality of air in Nepal ranks among the lowest in the world. The global Environmental Performance Index, (EPI) released earlier this year by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, ranks Nepal 176th among 180 countries surveyed for air quality.
US ranks 27th
The United States ranks 27th in the 2018 EPI, with strong scores on some issues, such as sanitation and air quality, but weak performance on others, including deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. This ranking puts the United States near the back of the industrialised nations, behind France (2nd), the United Kingdom (6th), Germany (13th), Italy (16th), Japan (20th), and Canada (25th).
Of the emerging economies, China and India rank 120th and 177th respectively, reflecting the strain population pressures and rapid economic growth impose on the environment, note the researchers.
Switzerland tops index
The tenth EPI report ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Switzerland leads the world in sustainability, followed by France, Denmark, Malta, and Sweden.
Switzerland’s number one ranking reflects strong performance across most issues, especially air quality and climate protection.
In general, high scorers exhibit long-standing commitments to protecting public health, preserving natural resources, and decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from economic activity.
India and Bangladesh come in near the bottom of the rankings, with Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nepal rounding out the bottom five. Low scores on the EPI indicate the need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, especially cleaning air quality, protecting biodiversity, and reducing GHG emissions, said the Index.