KMC struggles to manage public buses in Kathmandu

Published On: March 18, 2023 04:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 18: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the federal capital city of Nepal, is facing difficulties in managing public buses. Despite the operation of new and old bus parks in Gogambu and Ratnapark, respectively, to manage public transport carrying passengers from most districts in the country, the bus management has failed as public buses refuse to enter the bus park. The old bus park is no longer operational.

To organize and park the public vehicles entering the Kathmandu Valley, KMC signed an agreement with Lhotse Multi-Purpose Pvt Limited, which started operating a new bus park in the year 2000. However, some public buses refused to enter the new bus park, causing the suspension of public bus operations.

Currently, microbuses running from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Lamjung, Baglung, Myagdi, and other areas under the Prithvi Highway are operating from the side of the main road between Gongbu and the new bus park. Similarly, vehicles going to Dhading, Rasuwa Nuwakot, and microbuses running to Machhapokhari and Gorkha are running from the Balaju area.

Although a new bus park is operating at a distance of two kilometers from Gongbu Chowk to Balaju Chowk, most microbuses and big buses are operating from the side of the road. In discussions with KMC, transport entrepreneurs, and the Department of Transport Management, traffic police decided to operate night service buses from the new bus park, but some vehicles still operate from the roads around the ring road.

Jagat Man Shrestha, a transport expert of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, says that KMC is starting to operate all public vehicles from within the new bus park. He asserts that all vehicles should operate from within the bus park, and if not, an alternative will be found. KMC is also conducting necessary studies to reduce traffic jams within the Metropolitan City and for private vehicle parking.

Entrepreneurs say that the second phase of the ring road expansion project from Kalanki through Balaju-Chabahil to Koteshwor is causing difficulties in operating buses from the road. Bishnu Khatri, an employee of Lamjung Microbus Company, suggests that separate parking arrangements for big buses and microbuses should be made in the new bus park.

Ticket counters and haphazard bus parking on the main road around Kathmandu's ring road also cause problems in traffic management. Parking of long-distance vehicles on the roads around the ring road creates problems in the traffic management of the valley. The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office is taking action against vehicles parked indiscriminately in the vicinity of the ring road.

Currently, around 1.9 million public vehicles operate in Kathmandu Valley, while around 1,500 traffic personnel are deployed. The number of private and public vehicles has increased across the country, including the capital Kathmandu, and the lack of road expansion has led to increasing challenges in traffic management.


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