Government mulls ‘authority’ to manage public transport systemThe Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has started discussion on establishing a transport management authority to manage the public transport system.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has started discussion on establishing a transport management authority to manage the public transport system.
The ministry is considering of such an authority to put an effective public transport system in place in the country. “Discussions are on whether to allow the proposed authority only to monitor the public transportation or take up the entire management,” said Secretary at MoPIT Madhu Sudhan Adhikary, adding that there were also suggestions that such authority must manage the entire public transport sector.
After launching a crackdown on the transport syndicate in April, the ministry has been discussing with stakeholders ways to effectively manage the public transport sector. In a bid to break the syndicate, the government had decided not to renew registration of associations/committees of transport entrepreneurs. New associations need to meet all the specifications as mentioned in the Company and Cooperative Act for registration.
While the government crackdown appeared to have ended the cartelling in the public transport sector, stakeholders are waiting for government’s moves for managing the transport sector in the coming days. “The ongoing discussion is part of that exercise,” said an official at the ministry. The ministry is preparing to form a team of experts comprising former secretary Sharad Chandra Poudel, engineer Padam Shahi and Madhu Sudan Acharya to study options for a better management of the public transport system. The panel will submit a report together with a concrete work-plan to the government.
“Leaving the transport sector to the open market has resulted in a mess,” noted Adhikary. “Now, the government is seriously thinking of regulating it effectively. A transport authority could be an option.” The proposed authority, according to the ministry officials, will look after the entire aspects of public transport—route permit, vehicle fitness, road-worthiness, among others.
Currently, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) regulates the transport sector but questions have been raised over its effectiveness. While the DoTM issued route permits, the transport syndicate used to have a bigger say in allotting routes to new transport operators across the country.
The transport entrepreneurs have also been demanding an authority for proper management of the transportation sector. “If the government decides to have such an authority in place, it should have a legal framework,” said Acharya, former senior divisional engineer at the Department of Roads.