The government representatives and the stakeholders present on the occasion expressed commitment not to use polythene bags from now onwards. Nepal on Tuesday declared capital Kathmandu a polythene-free zone as the country observed its official New Year.

The capital was declared a ‘polythene bags-free area’ at an assembly organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment here.

The government representatives and the stakeholders present on the occasion expressed commitment not to use polythene bags from now on wards as it was harmful to human health and a major pollutant. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh said the government has banned the production and use of polythene bags in Kathmandu Valley for the time being and would follow suit in places outside the Valley after some time.

Singh said it was the right of all citizens to live in a clean and healthy environment. Production, transport and use of plastic bags of up to 35 by 20 inches and 40 microns has been banned within the Kathmandu valley, a government statement said, adding that all sides have been asked to cooperate in implementing the decision.

The Nepalese official New Year begins on Baishakh 1 as per the Bikram Era. Earlier, an awareness rally was organised from local Bhrikuti Mandap this morning highlighting the harmful effects of polythene bags and goods in the city.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in his message to the nation on the New Year called for “cooperation, collaboration and unity among the political parties” for building political consensus in the country. “The political parties should be responsible for institutionalising the achievements of the three decade long struggle for democracy that led to establishment of a federal, republic and inclusive democracy in the country,” he said.

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