Transport mgmt office that looks like a maze

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By Nayak Paudel,Kathmandu, June 22:The Gurjudhara-based Transport Management Office, designated for works related to two-wheelers, is in a far corner of the Kathmandu Valley.

People, especially those wanting to transfer the ownership of the two-wheeler or to install an embossed number plate, have to reach this office. The area around the office is often crowded.

However, for the visitors, the transport office is like a maze as they need to walk at least 200 metres between different buildings to have their work done.

"I came to the office in person to renew the blue book (vehicle registration card) of my father's motorcycle as the online system was not working and he did not want to pay a fine. However, I did not know that an office would be scattered in this way," said Sanam Rai, a temporary resident of Naikap.

Rai, who was sitting on the side of the road between the Global IME Bank's counter and the Transport Management Office, said that he was tired of having to walk between the two offices three times. "I went to the bank and paid the required amount. I was then told to visit the office 200 metres down the road to verify the receipt. I had to walk back to the same building with the bank to have the blue book renewed with a sign of a senior official," said Rai.

Susan, who had come to the transport office with his sister to install an embossed number plate on her scooter, was also tired of having to walk here and there for a simple work.

"The embossed number plate office is nearby the bank. We paid the necessary amount and had to walk 200 metres far only to have the payment verified. We returned back the same distance to install the plate finally," said Susan.

He continued: "When I thought the work was done, the officials instructed me to return to the main administrative building once again and to register the new number on the plate in the account book." Sanam and Susan are among the many service-seekers who similarly are made to walk hundreds of metres unnecessarily for simple work.

"People come and shout at us citing that they were being forced to walk here and there unnecessarily due to improper management. Like the service seekers, we, the service providers, are also tired of this unmanaged office," said a senior official at the transport office on condition of anonymity.

The existing structures of the office are also in a dire situation. The files containing the major documents of a registered vehicle can be seen kept inside a dilapidated structured surrounded by tin sheets. Two other officials sitting beside the senior official informed that the Bagmati Province government was planning to construct a proper building but that some hurdles were stopping it from doing that.

"We plan to construct a building at the big open space near the currently operating offices of the Gurjudhara-based Transport Office. We also do not want to have scattered offices in rented houses," said Khagendra Poudel, information officer at the Bagmati Province Ministry of Labour, Employment and Transport.

A large open space can be seen in front of a hut made for embossed number plate-related work where two-wheelers are parked. The space is also used to inspect vehicles before ownership transformation.

"The open space is registered under the federal government. We have requested the federal government to allow us to utilise the land multiple times but to no avail," Poudel added.

When the officials at the Federal Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport were asked about their stance regarding the land, the ministry's information officer Binod Kumar Khadka said that the issue was known better to the Department of Transport Management (DoTM).

Meanwhile, DoTM's information officer Ishwori Datta Paneru said that the department had not received any request from the provincial authorities regarding the land.

"We do not have any jurisdiction. If the ministry or the cabinet decides to give the land to the provincial authority, the process would start immediately," said Paneru.

Meanwhile, Paneru argued that the DoTM was planning to start installing embossed number plates in large vehicles. "We need a big space to bring this plan into action, and the space in Gurjudhara is our only option," he added.

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