HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Metropolitan City is likely to declare New Road area vehicle-free zone w.e.f. Sunday and is planning to operate electric vehicles in the area.
Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, executive chief of the civic body, told THT today that vehicles will be barred from the area between 8:30am and 7:30pm. “However, permanent residents will be issued entry passes,” he added. KMC has been holding discussions with all the stakeholders, including local clubs, entrepreneurs, local people and other concerned parties about the KMC plan. “We are also in touch with vehicle entrepreneurs to decide on their participation for operating electric vehicles,” Adhikari said. KMC plans to operate public electric vehicles in New Road and Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a bid to help preserve the heritage site.
KMC is likely to buy electric vehicles and operate them in the area, keeping the cost for the riders to minimum possible, KMC sources told THT. If the private sector shows interest to operate electric vehicles charging a reasonable fare, they can be allowed to operate, said Adhikari. “There are three electric vehicles with 14 seats with KMC and they will be used,” he said. “If a majority of people prefer to walk, there may not be any need to operate EVs,” he added. The stakeholders have shown concern about parking lots in the New Road area for KMC operated electric vehicles. “We are planning to manage the parking lots in a better way,” said Adhikari. “We will use existing parking lots and will develop new ones if need be,” he added. “We’ll develop footpaths and permanent road dividers in the area,” he said.