Transport committees show ‘signs of retreat’Public transport entrepreneurs, who are protesting the government’s announcement to ban their committees or associations for ending syndicates in the sector, are getting increasingly cornered and isolated.
Public transport entrepreneurs, who are protesting the government’s announcement to ban their committees or associations for ending syndicates in the sector, are getting increasingly cornered and isolated.
The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries on Thursday welcomed the government’s decision to crack down on the public transport cartels.
“The FNCCI, which has long been demanding an end to all kinds of syndicate, cartels, and queues in transport sector, welcomes the government’s decision to cancel registration and renewal of the committees from the District Administration Office,” the federation stated on Thursday.
The FNCCI has urged them to withdraw their agitation. The Nepal Oil Corporation has also asked Nepal Petroleum Transport Entrepreneurs Federation, which has thrown its weight behind the transport entrepreneurs, to refrain from activities that disrupt public services. “Tankers and public transport are two different sectors. The tanker entrepreneurs should not be swayed to disturb public services,” said NOC acting managing director Sushil Bhattarai.
“We have already briefed them against taking part in such activities. If they still join the protest, we will take action against them.”
The transport sector has also hinted at a retreat from the agitation. While the entrepreneurs have unveiled a series of protests against the decision to ban transport associations, some of the committees have already started the process to register as companies.
Transport entrepreneurs are applying at the Company Registrar’s Office (CRO) for registration, a quiet move suggesting their backtracking on the protest before it intensifies.
According to Rajendra Thapa, spokesperson for the CRO, transport entrepreneurs are visiting the office and inquiring about the registration procedure.
Some of the big committees, known for backing syndicates and barring open competition, have also gone for registration. According to Thapa, transport entrepreneurs opting for registration are Prithvi Transport, Siddhartha Bus Services, Mahakali Seti Transport Entrepreneurs’ Committee, Paschimanchal Bus Services, Prithvi Bus, Dhaulagiri Zone Bus Entrepreneurs’ Committee.
Another group of transport entrepreneurs visiting the CRO includes Araniko Yatayat, one of the strongest committees maintaining monopoly in the routes east of Koteshwor.
Araniko was one of the 11 committees that disrupted vehicular movement east of Koteshwor after the government permitted Mayur Yatayat to ply the route.
Besides, 80 bus companies have decided to continue services defying the protests unveiled by the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs.
These firms, registered as private companies, have nearly 600 vehicles, which are likely to give a respite to the public if the protesting companies do not run their buses.
According to Mayur Yatayat Chairman Mohan Bahadur Shrestha, the protest would not succeed. “These committees know they can’t do anything this time,” he said. “We won’t stop our services even if they do so.”