KMC against govt decision to add 1,500 taxis in Kathmandu

Published On: June 21, 2017 12:40 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, June 21: Expressing dissatisfaction over the government's decision to register 1,500 new taxis in the name of earthquake survivors in Kathmandu Valley, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has asked the government give permits to new taxis in the capital.

The KMC made such request on the eve of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) preparing to give permits to 1,500 taxis to the earthquake survivors. The DoTM is all set to distribute taxis though lucky draw from among 149,500 applicants from Wednesday to Friday.

“At a time when the city is facing heavy traffic jam, lack of parking space and pollution, we don't have to add more taxis. Even the existing taxis are more than enough for now.

So, these new taxis should not ply the roads of the capital but should be allowed to operate outside of Kathmandu,” KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya told the reporters on Tuesday.

He said that the government and the KMC have been promoting mass transport system in major cities like Kathmandu and the capital doesn't need more taxis.

 “The existing taxis are now violating the laws in Kathmandu. They don't want to serve the public on meter and they cheat the passengers. These are some problems which the public is facing day to day,” he said. “We need to regulate the existing taxis instead of adding more numbers.”

According to government data, there are around 8,500 taxis plying the valley roads. The government has been giving concession to large public buses as a special offer to encourage mass transport system. The KMC had, this year, invested around Rs 50 million for Shajha Yatayat to import large buses to Kathmandu. Last year, the KMC spent Rs 100 million to import 30 new city buses for Sajha.

“We are encouraging mass transportation in Kathmandu. So, it would be wrong to promote small vehicles like taxis in the capital,” he added. “That will only aggravate the traffic congestion in the capital.”

DoTM officials have informed that it will distribute 491 permits to victims of Kavre, Nuwakot and Ramechhap on Wednesday, 513 to victims of Dolakha, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk on Thursday and 496 to victims of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Makwanpur, Dhading, Okhaldhunga, Gorkha and Rasuwa on Friday. 

According to DoTM, around 922,900 vehicles are registered in Kathmandu. Of them, 722,722 are motorbikes; 10,379 are buses; 9,835 are mini-buses and 18,928 are trucks/mini trucks. Likewise, the numbers of heavy vehicle like excavator or dozer is 6,535; car/jeep/van is 125,439 while there are 2,123 microbuses plying the roads of Kathmandu. 

KMC's meeting on Tuesday also decided to conduct study on restructuring the KMC's administrative structure to develop standard service delivery. 

“With the inputs from experts on administrative management, a committee will create posts and identify working details and the whole process will be finalized within the next two months,” reads a statement issued by the KMC.

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