Kathmandu, capital of Nepal and gateway to the Himalayas, sits surrounded by ancient towns and temples in the bowl-like Kathmandu Valley.
Since the 1960s, the area has been a haven
for hikers and hippies, but the valley is being threatened by the terrible air
pollution. Increasing development and a population of four million, plus
unregulated factories and a 17% increase in vehicles per year, has created an
air pollution problem that the Nepalese government is desperate to solve.
Some of the factories are now closed part of the year
and the government is looking into the possibility
of a metro system in the Kathmandu Valley. The Mass Rapid
Transit system will include 75km of underground and elevated rail, including a
stretch that follows the city’s Ring Road. To ease congestion in the city core
where traffic is consistently the worst, eight lines will leave from Ratna
Park/New Road and connect to various spots on the Ring Road.
The government short-listed six firms in Korea, India, Canada, France and Thailand to conduct the
studies and provide estimates in environmental and financial cost. The winning
firm will be selected in mid-July.