By Razen Manandhar
(The Himalayan Times)
Kathmandu, Septermber 25 
The Ministry for Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) is preparing to introduce Euro II standards of emission for new vehicles entering the country.
Lok Darshan Regmi, a joint-secretary at MoEST said, the ministry is making necessary arrangements to introduce the Euro II standards of emission for new vehicles in the country. "We will soon introduce Euro II emission standards. We should have gone for the Euro III standards but this is not practically possible in a country like Nepal," Regmi said.
In general, the Euro I standards allow emission of 2.75 gm/km of carbon monoxide while Euro II allows only 2.20. Thus, the new standards will make obsolete old vehicles and enable entry of new vehicles that emit less smoke and pollutant particles. However, the government’s recent move is drawing mixed reactions from the environmentalists, vehicle owners and dealers.
Dr Toran Sharma, the executive director of Nepal Environment and Scientific Services, said it mattered little whether the government introduces Euro II standards of gases because the Emission Standards 2056, which introduced the Euro I emission standards, is still under question. "The government implemented Euro I standards six years ago but we have yet to see its impact in the quality of air we breathe. We will have to see what changes the implementation of Euro II standards will bring in the quality of air," he said.
Implementation of Euro standards have close links with the quality of fuel used in vehicles, maintenance of vehicles and the quality of roads and at the present context here they are not yet compatible for Euro II standards, he said.
"It is good to introduce a new standard but the government must make necessary preparations to bring desired effect and make the change practical. Slogans are not enough to clean the capital," he said.
Dipak KC, the programme officer at Clean Energy Nepal said that the people should welcome the new step despite all constraints accompanying it. "Along with introduction of the new standard, the government should also put stress on implementation and making the country ready for the next step," he said.
The automobile dealers, however, claim the implementation of Euro II emission standards is impossible and not practical in Nepali context. Hikmat Bahadur Mali, the president of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association, said implementation of the Euro II emission standards is surely going to take some time because lots of other preparations have to be done before the standard is effectively implemented.