Closed driving license trial centers to reopen from today

Published On: June 14, 2024 12:40 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma

KATHMANDU, June 14: Four trial centers in the Kathmandu Valley that had been closed for about a month, will be reopened from today. The Budhathoki trial center in Bhaktapur, which is conducting experimental tests for heavy vehicles, has not been opened yet.

The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Transport under the Bagmati Province Government wrote separate letters to the four trial centers on Thursday and directed them to open from today. 

According to the ministry’s direction, starting from today, Easy Way Trial Center in Radhe Radhe, Bhaktapur, Vehicle Academy and Research Center Pvt Ltd in Gurjudhara, Nepal Driving and Reconditioning Center Pvt Ltd in Gokarneshwar, and Suzuki Driving School Pvt Ltd in Ekantakuna have begun collecting revenue for conducting practical exams (trial exams). However, the ministry has said nothing about Budhathoki Driving Center, which has been conducting trials for mini-buses, minitrucks, lorries, buses, and trucks. The National Vigilance Center (NVC) has reported that there are technical issues in conducting practical exams for heavy vehicles at that trial center.

Ministry Secretary Balram Niraula stated that the ministry wrote letters on Thursday to four trial centers in the valley to open for trial exams. He mentioned, "Starting from Friday, four trial centers in the valley will be open." "Heavy vehicle trials have not been opened yet," he said. According to him, the trial centers that have been opened will begin the process for practical exams starting from Friday. "They will start collecting revenue from today and will conduct practical exams according to the roll order," he said.

The ministry and the NVC had formed separate teams to inspect whether the closed trial centers had prepared the physical infrastructure according to the specified standards. After the inspection, a report was prepared indicating that four centers had completed the physical infrastructure according to the standards set by the ministry and the NVC.

Earlier, the NVC formed a team in mid-April and conducted a detailed study and inspection on whether the trial centers of the valley had prepared physical infrastructure according to the prescribed standards. The report prepared after the inspection concluded that the trial centers had deliberately failed the examinees without conducting the practical exams according to the specified standards. The report mentioned that the trial centers conducted practical exams contrary to the directives set by the NVC. It stated that these trial centers did not conduct exams according to the standards specified in the Operational Guidelines for Driving Test Centers of 2074 BS.

The NVC had instructed the trial centers operating contrary to the specified directives to either comply exactly with the standards or shut down. Following this directive from the NVC, five trial centers in the valley were closed for about a month. As a result, at least 20,000 service seekers have been affected. After the trial centers were closed, the Ministry of Transport formed a technical team led by mechanical engineer Ram Sundar Kusi to assess whether the physical infrastructure had been prepared according to the specified standards. This team submitted its report to the ministry last week.

After the trial centers were closed, the NVC had sent a technical team to the four trial centers that had been closed for the second time. The team sent for the second time reported that the four trial centers had prepared the physical infrastructure according to the specified standards. However, Budhathoki Trial Center did not receive a second team. On May 16, the five centers in the valley stopped conducting practical exams.

Test takers cannot use their personal vehicles for driving license trails

The NVC has written a letter to the Bagmati Province Transport Ministry directing them to arrange so that drivers can conduct trials using their own vehicles. However, the transport ministry has replied to the NVC stating that conducting trials practically from one's own vehicle is not currently feasible.

The Ministry concluded that allowing trials with personal vehicles may lead to parking issues, difficulty in standardizing tests for all vehicles, and discrepancies in vehicle specifications. Furthermore, using personal vehicles could potentially increase intermediaries and costs. The law stipulates that trial centers operate under the provincial ministry of transport.

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