KATHMANDU, July 9: Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been increasing at an alarming rate, the government has decided to allow short-distance public transport to resume their service.
This comes amid mounting pressure from the public transport entrepreneurs to allow resuming their service as they are forced to face severe economic hardship due to prolonged lockdown. Hundreds of taxi drivers had staged a protest in Kathmandu a few days ago demanding the government to allow them resuming the service.
Addressing a press conference organized to make the decision of cabinet meeting public on Thursday, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Yuba Raj Khatiwada, who is also the spokesperson of the government, said the government has decided to operate short-distance public transport service.
While the public vehicles within Kathmandu Valley can operate their service in all three districts – Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur--, such vehicles outside Kathmandu Valley can operate their service only within their respective district, according to Minister Khatiwada.
"The driver and his helpers should wear masks and follow other safety measures in the vehicle. Likewise, passengers should wear masks, and follow "social distancing" measures inside the bus," he said.
Although taxis can immediately resume their service, Minister Khatiwada said it may sometime for the short-route vehicles to make necessary preparation to ensure safety of passengers before they can resume their service.