Transport Department says 200 buses will be added for DashainMetropolitan Traffic Police Division estimates that this year over three million people are set to leave the valley, for which 9,000 buses are needed every day to carry passengers.
In a bid to assist people travelling longer distances for the upcoming Dashain festival, the Department of Transport Management has announced it will add 200 buses by tying up with umbrella organisations of private schools and colleges.
Talking to the Post, Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at the department, said additional vehicles are currently being repaired and the department is working to give route permits for the new buses. “We are also planning to hold meetings with umbrella organisations of private boarding schools to make arrangements for more buses,” said Hamal.
“We are requesting private schools and colleges to close earlier so that we can avail of the vehicles in an easier way,” said Hamal.
However, Private and Boarding School Organisations Nepal and National Private and Boarding School Associations Nepal have not given any feedback to the department's request.
"I can't say anything on this regard. We first need to hold the meeting regarding the issue," said Subash Neupane, General Secretary of N-PABSON.
Apart from that, the division office is also going to hold a meeting with Sajha Yatayat Cooperative to employ their buses.
Even though Dashain is just three weeks away, pre-booking tickets for the festival is uncertain due to lack of adequate homework and better planning from government and transport entrepreneurs. To solve the issue, a meeting was held on September 4 between the department and the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs, but it ended without a decision. Officials said the pre-booking announcement meeting is scheduled to be held on September 11.
Every year before Dashain, 400-500 new buses are added to routes. But after the government amended the Transport Management Directive 2004 to end the syndicate and cartel in the public transport sector, entrepreneurs stopped buying new buses. Apart from that, transport entrepreneurs say banks have not shown any interest to invest in the transportation sector. The high down payment amount has further discouraged them from buying new buses.
Metropolitan Traffic Police Division estimates that this year over three million people are set to leave the valley, for which every day 9,000 buses are needed to carry passengers during the festive time.
“We have sent letters to all the seven provinces’ transportation coordinates to get the data of public buses that are being operated. This will help us finalise the route for Dashain,” said Yogendra Karmacharya, president of Transport Entrepreneurs.
The Department in association with the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has already announced to operate 14 help desks from September 27 to October 5, in different parts of Kathmandu Valley to assist passengers.