'Separate body needed to manage transport system in Kathmandu'
Kathmandu, Mar. 15: Experts and policymakers on Wednesday underlined the need for establishing a separate body to manage the public transportation system of the Kathmandu Valley.
The public transportation system in the valley is very chaotic, its management is not possible from the existing institutional set up, said Padam Bahadur Shahi, an expert on transport and traffic management.
He said that a complete restructuring of public transportation system was urgent in Kathmandu to make it manageable as per the need of the growing population in the cities.
Shahi, who is also a consultant at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), said that the DoTM cannot look after the management of public transportation system as it has to concentrate on other key functions, including collection of tax, registration of vehicles, providing driving license and other policy related works.
He said that India and other countries have established separate authorities to oversee the public transport in highly populated cities, he said.
He suggested establishing such a public transport management authority under the local government.
Currently, there is no systematic record of existing routes of public vehicles due to which management of public transportation has become more challenging, he said.
At present, the passengers cannot be assured whether they will get public vehicle to reach their home and offices in lack of proper management of public transportation services, he said.
The passengers in Kathmandu are forced to get on the already overloaded vehicles during rush hours in the morning and evening while the service is completely unavailable at the night time.
“The authority looking after the public transport management should ensure the rights of passengers to get timely and comfortable vehicle service. This can not be done by the DoTM under the current institutional structures,” he said.
Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transportation Project has identified a total of 64 routes in Kathmandu valley which includes 8-primary routes, 16-secondary routes and 40 tertiary routes for the management of public transportation in Kathmandu, he said.
In order to make effective implementation of these routes, a strong authority is needed, he said.
Rup Narayan Bhattarai, director general of DoT, said that the department was facing shortage of human resources to perform its various works including transport management.
“We are doing our best from the available resources in the management of public transportation,” he said.
Bhattarai said that it had been the time to make policy discussion for the effective management of public transportation system in the populated cities including Kathmandu.