Kathmandu. get ready for the mother of all traffic jams. In a matter of months, the already overcrowded streets will have more than 500 new microbuses jostling for space,There were only about 200 electric three-wheelers last year when the government banned the diesel-run Vikram tempos. There are now 600. The government allowed duty-free imports of 560 microbuses when it banned the polluting Vikrams. The idea was to give its operators an alternative to operate cleaner vehicles.
Former Vikram owners have now taken possession of 200 of these new diesel microbuses which seat 15 and will ply the same routes. The first 79 petrol-run micros that came from China are now being converted to run on LPG before they begin operating as public transport. Two weeks ago 172 diesel-powered Hiace vans arrived in the capital. Toyota officials claim the new Hiace are Euro-2 compliant.
The order was big enough for Toyota to fly in its General Manager. A. Okabe. to Kathmandu to hand over the vans, which he said were famous for low emission and high performance. Little wonder then that Okabe was all praise for the government\'s \'\'excellent Tempo scheme".