Traffic banned in Thamel


The government decision to declare the 120-meter area in Thamel - stretching from Kathmandu Guest House Chwok to Nursing Chwok- a no-go zone for vehicles will come into effect beginning tomorrow. The move came in the wake of increasing nuisance caused by heavy traffic to tourists on foot in the area. The decision to this effect is expected to help ease the movement of tourists who come in large numbers for sightseeing.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, all kinds of vehicles, including bicycles, rickshaws and three-wheelers will be banned from entering the restricted zone. "No vehicles will cross the restricted zone from 10 am to 4 pm and 6 pm to 10 am each day," DSP Bikash Shrestha, Valley Operation In charge at MTPD, warned.

"The two-hour concession is not allowed on all public holidays. Police will keep a vigil round-the-clock," he added. DSP Shrestha maintained that the traffic police had already put this decision in public notice through pamphleteering.

As per the decision, the locals will get respite from the restriction only for two hours - from 4 pm to 6 pm. Still more to come, similar plans are afoot in the second phase for the road stretching from JP School to Saat Ghumti.

In the successive phases, the government plans to declare Ason, New Road and the entire Thamel area vehicle free zone, said Shrestha. "We'll enforce the rule in right earnest. This will also help us make rightful decision before we begin implementing the second phase," he added. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Range (MPR) at Hanumandhoka has made an elaborate security arrangement for tourists.

As per the plan, the government is to deploy more than 200 police personnel to man the Thamel area, according to SP Nawa Raj Silwal, in-charge, MPR.

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