Country Listing

Nepal Table of Contents




Various modes of transportation on New Road, Kathmandu
Courtesy Harvey Follender


Figure 9. Nepal: Transportation System, 1991

Source: Based on information from Frederick H. Gaige, Regionalism and National Unity in Nepal, Berkeley, 1975, 36; and Pitamber Sharma, Urbanization inf Nepal, Honolulu, 1989, 132.

The inadequacy of the transportation system assured its high priority in all development plans. Nonetheless, budget allocations for transport and communications declined by more than half from the Fifth Five-Year Plan (1975-80) to the Seventh Five-Year Plan (1985-90). Before 1960 the bulk of goods transported used human labor and animals. Since 1960 the building of paved roads has helped make the transportation of both goods and people more accessible although the infrastructure remained underdeveloped (see fig. 9). By the early 1990s, however, the major modes of transportation were by road or by air, although trails still were used to transport goods.

The 1989 trade and transit dispute with India in also affected the transportation system. There were acute shortages of coal and petroleum products as well as spare parts supplied by India. These shortages hampered the domestic transport system, which in turn affected service industries and tourism.

Data as of September 1991