Dearth of new buses may hit Dashain passengers hard
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Sept. 4: People travelling to their home towns to celebrate biggest Hindu festival, Dashain, are likely to face tough times in getting their tickets as bus operators have not added more buses this year to ferry Dashain passengers.
Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of Federation of National Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs, said that management of vehicles for the upcoming Dashain festival would be a highly challenging task in absence of adequate new public vehicles.
He said that the number of available vehicles in the country has significantly declined due to the lack of additional investment from the entrepreneurs.
Due to less number of vehicles, it will be difficult to manage additional vehicles required to send Dashain passengers to their home towns, he added.
He said that the transportation entrepreneurs did not make new investment in adding new vehicles for the last one year due to the ‘uncertainty hovered in the sector because of the government policy.’
Sitaula referred to the decision of the government to dissolve all transport committees with the provision of bringing them under the Company Act which appears to have discouraged investment in the transportation sector.
“The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has called us for a meeting tomorrow, a preliminary discussion will begin for opening advance ticket bookings for the upcoming Dashain festival,” he said.
Advance ticket booking of the long-route passenger buses for Dashain festival is likely to begin from September 11.
The DoTM has started discussions with the concerned stakeholders to manage the vehicles to the Dashain passengers of the long routes.
It is estimated that around 2 million people leave Kathmandu to celebrate
Dashain festival with their family members.
Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general of DoTM, said that the department was planning to start advance ticket booking from September 11.
“We have invited the representatives of transportation entrepreneurs and transportation committees for Wednesday in which the proposal of opening the advance ticket booking from September 11 will be discussed,” he said.
To ensure the safe and reliable transportation service to the travellers during Dashain, the DoTM organised a meeting with the representatives of different Transport Management Offices, Traffic Police, consumer right activists and Nepal Automobiles Dealers Associations on Tuesday.
Director General Hamal said that today’s meeting with the stakeholders decided to establish ‘civilian assistance room’ in major 15 locations of the valley.
The assistance room will facilitate passengers and will also check whether they are cheated in tickets, he said.
Hamal, however, said that the government would not be ready to increase fares of the buses if the transportation entrepreneurs raised such demand.
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