Bus operators want bank accounts unfrozenTicket booking for travel during the Dashain holidays is in limbo as public transport entrepreneurs demand that the government unfreeze the bank accounts of various transport committees.
Ticket booking for travel during the Dashain holidays is in limbo as public transport entrepreneurs demand that the government unfreeze the bank accounts of various transport committees.
As part of the government’s crackdown on the syndicate of transport committees and associations, the government had frozen 245 bank accounts earlier this year, after the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association (FNNTEA) enforced a transport strike.
Every year, nearly 2.5 million Nepalis rely on public transport to go back to their home districts for Dashain. Usually, advanced booking for public buses starts a month before the festival. This year, however, formal dates have yet to be announced as transport entrepreneurs refuse to open advanced booking unless the government frees their bank accounts. Dashain holidays begin in 40 days.
“Public transport will continue to operate as on normal days but we will not make advance bookings,” FNNTEA President Yogendra Karmacharya told the Post. “We cannot deposit a huge amount of money to an individual bank account. We need a collective bank account to deposit money from advance bookings and also to make necessary payments from the same account.”
Representatives of the Department of Transport Management, FNNTEA, traffic police and the Consumer Welfare Protection Forum met on Wednesday to end the stalemate but the meeting made no headway after transport entrepreneurs remained adamant on their demands, including hiking the ticket prices.
“The crackdown on the syndicate, followed by the freezing of their bank accounts, is a national issue. The department alone cannot take a decision on their demands,” said department Spokesperson Gokarna Prasad Upadhyay. Representatives of all three organisations are scheduled to meet on Friday.