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Very few passengers for long route on first day, local restriction creating problems



By Keshav Raj Poudel, Kathmandu, Sept.17: Only four buses of the Araniko transport service, the largest passenger bus service company operating in the east of Koteshwor, left the capital city on Thursday.

Not a single passenger bus entered the capital till late afternoon.

Around this time in previous years, over 500 buses of the Araniko Transport Service (ATS) would be providing service to many places of Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap and Dolakha.


All seven counters of the ATS located in the Kathmandu Valley were kept opened today with the government deciding to let operate public transport services starting from today itself, September 17.

But, due to lack of the passengers, neither the tickets were sold nor the buses left for any destination.

Chitra Bahadur Kunwar, chairman of the ATS, said that there were no people seeking to ride buses to reach any destination.

"We have brought all the vehicles to the bus park and kept them ready as per the decision of the government. But, no tickets were bought as there were no passengers," said Kunwar.

On the one hand, there is no passenger going out of Kathmandu and on the other hand, the public transport has not been able to operate smoothly as the local administration has restricted them from entering Kathmandu.


Chairman Kunwar said that the ATS buses coming to Kathmandu were stopped by the District Administration Office, Ramechhap and it was informed to the ATS that permission could be made only after a meeting in the afternoon.

Ravi Rimal, deputy general secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs, said that the local administration had started issuing the restriction orders in their districts despite the government's decision to operate the transport, which has created new obstacles.


In Rasuwa and Nuwakot, restriction on mobility of public buses is imposed by the local administration, along with other places.

Rimal said that the restrictions had been imposed even in the western districts such as Palpa where the local administration had not allowed driving buses, he added.

 

Rimal viewed that the passengers may as well have been in confusion with regard to decision relating to Sept 17 and 21.

Today being the first day and also Vishwakarma puja (worshipping of God of iron) day, there are less vehicles in operation," said Rimal, "Public transport service would go smoothly within a few days if there is no local restriction."

Buses providing regular services to Dhanding and Banepa from Kathmandu have resumed plying today while buses are on the road in Kathmandu's short routes.


No discussion had been done on the advance ticketing


Deputy general secretary Rimal said that there was no discussion with the Department of Transport Management about ticket booking.

He said discussion in the regard would be held after public service buses started operating regularly.

The district has not complied with the decision taken by the government in Kathmandu. It is not possible for us to operate regular vehicles, but, we will discuss about it in view of Dashain festival once there is a comfortable environment for us to do business.

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