Kathmandu, Sept 27: The government has opened advance ticket booking targeting passengers travelling home by bus in this Dashain festival. The advance booking has started from today to facilitate students and people involved in various professions in the capital to travel to their home districts outside the Kathmandu Valley.
With this, the number of people buying bus tickets has significantly increased at the New Buspark. Nishan Khadka of Dhangadhi from the far-west of the country who studies in a college in the federal capital reached the ticket counter at New Buspark early in the morning today to book a ticket.
He lives in a rented room in Chabahil of Kathmandu and reached the Buspark at 5 am to book the bus ticket. Khadka plans to leave for Dhangadhi on October 8. He got the ticket after waiting for two hours in line.
"It was easier getting a bus ticket this time than the previous year," said an exuberant Khadka. Ashish Pandey, who is preparing to travel home in Lamki of Kailali, reached the Buspark for buying a ticket at 4 am along with his friends. He booked a bus ticket for October 11 for Rs 2,035. They had reached the Buspark from Pepsikola of Kathmandu.
Similarly, Tikaram Pokharel reached the New Buspark at 5:30 am to book a ticket to Pyuthan. "This year, it is more systematic than last year. It is much easier to get a ticket this year," he said. He works in a private company based in Nuwakot.
People could be seen eagerly waiting in a queue in front of the ticket counters selling tickets to places like Dhangadhi, Tikapur, Bajhang, Bajura, Salyan, Rukum, Pyuthan and Rolpa in the west and Siraha, Saptari, Udayapur, Jhapa, Ilam and Taplejung in the east.
Last year, the advance ticket booking was not opened due to the high risk of COVID-19. However, this year the ticket booking has been opened well in time in the run-up to the festivals.
Lhotse Multipurpose Pvt Ltd, which is operating the New Buspark, has set up additional 11 ticket booking counters, in collaboration with the transport entrepreneurs.
Pvt Ltd's General Manager Sunil Kunwar said ticket counters have been added for providing tickets to the passengers going home for the Dashain festival in an easy and systematic way.
Passengers were issued hand-written tickets last year but this year both hand-written and e-tickets have been issued.
Health safety protocols as social distancing and the like have been followed while issuing the tickets to passengers.
Lhotse Pvt Ltd has mobilized 34 security guards and the Nepal Police 40 of its personnel for preventing possible robbery, theft, looting and petty crimes in the Buspark area.
Kunwar, the General Manager, added that arrangements have been made for keeping the buses in good condition and for compulsorily keeping masks and sanitisers for creating a safe environment for the passengers.
At present, bus tickets are being issued from 32 ticket counters through the computerized system.
The bus terminal is spread over 161 ropanis area in Gongabu on the side of the Bishnumati river in Kathmandu Metropolis-26.
Buses operate from this bus terminus to more than 65 districts throughout the country.