Government postpones nationwide vehicle ban

Next week’s Pedestrian Day event that will ban vehicles from the streets of Male’ and other inhabited islands for six hours has been postponed until Friday June 15, local media has reported.

The event, originally scheduled for Tuesday June 12, will ban the use of vehicles between 4:00pm to 10:00pm as part of the country’s commitments to play up sustainable development ahead of the Rio+20 summit later this month.

However, the government has opted to move the Pedestrian Day to the weekend over concerns about disruption caused to the general public during a working day, according to Haveeru.

During the six hour period, only vehicles used by security forces and emergency services, as well as transportation for people with special needs will be permitted to operate on the country’s roads.

Vehicles carrying departure passengers and other tourism related services will be required to obtain a special permit from transport authorities. Members of the public not found to be in compliance with the vehicle ban will be charged Rf750, according to local media.

An exhibition set to be held on the artificial beach area of Male’ based around recycling has also been postponed until next Friday.

However, the government has said that events scheduled for the next 24 hours to mark World Environment Day were going ahead as planned.

The government told Minivan News yesterday that it was presently undertaking work to devise a new national environment strategy.

A President’s Office spokesperson claimed the government was not looking to “completely” reverse the high-profile carbon neutral policies practised during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed.