Plan to manage public vehicles puts authorities on collision courseThe Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has taken a proposal to the Cabinet seeking to establish authority to look into the management of public transport in Kathmandu Valley under the federal government.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has taken a proposal to the Cabinet seeking to establish authority to look into the management of public transport in Kathmandu Valley under the federal government.
But the Province 3 government is of the view that the transport management system within its borders falls under its sole jurisdiction, as per the constitution.
Kathmandu Valley falls under Province 3, whose temporary capital is Hetauda. But the laws have not, as of yet, specified the tasks under the federal and the provincial governments regarding the management of the transport sector, which is creating confusion.
“The proposed authority has been envisioned to regulate the operation of public vehicles in Kathmandu Valley, determine routes for them, monitor and penalise violators for breaching rules and regulations regarding the transport management,” said Gopal Prasad Sigdel, joint secretary at the ministry. “As per the proposal, the authority will remain under the federal government.”
On April 2, a decision was taken to send a proposal to the cabinet for its approval regarding the presentation of the bill titled Kathmandu Valley Public Transportation (Management) Authority Act at Parliament in the next session. On December 24 last year, the cabinet had approved a concept of introducing a bill regarding the formation of the authority in principle.
However, the proposed jurisdiction of authority could contradict with the jurisdiction that the provincial government enjoys as per the constitution. According to a report approved by the Cabinet regarding the Constitutional Jurisdictions of the Federation, Provinces and Local Levels and their Work Expansions, the provincial government is responsible for preparing laws, rules and regulation, plans about the transport sector within the geography. The provincial government is also responsible for providing route approval, determining standards and fare, registering vehicles and providing vehicle operating licenses.
However, the Province 3 government said that the centre has not held any discussions with it regarding the matter yet.
“The federal government has notified us that it wants to hold discussions with us regarding the establishment of an authority to govern public transport management in Kathmandu Valley. We have not held talks yet,” Chief Minister of Province-3 Dormani Poudel told the Post.
Poudel, who also holds the portfolio of Physical Infrastructure Development Ministry at the province, said that as the transport management in Kathmandu Valley falls under the purview of the Province 3 as per the constitution, the state should not be denied its jurisdiction.
“The federal government has a tendency of overstepping the jurisdictions of the provincial and local governments from time to time,” he said.
As per the work expansion report on jurisdictions of the three-tiers of the government approved by the cabinet, the federal government is responsible for regulating operation of national level transport management and determining routes and fare.
However, officials at the federal government question whether the provincial government, whose headquarters is in Hetauda, could be able to manage the public vehicles in Kathmandu, where traffic congestion is higher than any other city in the country.