KATHMANDU, Sept 28: The government on Wednesday backpedaled from its own commitment of strictly implementing the ban on public vehicles plying without route permit.
A meeting held at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) between government agencies and transport entrepreneurs reached an agreement to end the ban to ensure adequate availability of vehicles during Dashain.
“An agreement has been reached to allow public vehicles to ply any parts of the country by taking temporary route permit,” Saroj Sitaula, general secretary at the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs said, adding that the new provision would come into effect from October 1.
The government agreed to relax the route permit provision after transport entrepreneurs remained firm on their stand of not adding more vehicles during Dashain if the decision was not revoked.
At the meeting, the transport entrepreneurs also demanded subsidized fuel if they were to carry passengers as per the seating capacity. “Public vehicles get only one way passengers during Dashain,” Sitaula said. “Thus, the government should provide subsidy on fuel to balance the loss.”
He further said that the transport entrepreneurs have been providing services despite the risks posed by poor roads. “It is government's responsibility to protect entrepreneurs who are working ignoring adverse condition.”
The DoTM officials are positive about the entrepreneurs' demand regarding fuel subsidy, according to an official at the department. “The department will take the decision soon keeping passengers' convenience in mind.”