KATHMANDU, July 13: After halting services for nearly four months, Mayur Yatayat has resumed operation of its passenger buses that provide services within Kathmandu Valley.
The bus operator decided to resume operation of its passenger buses from Monday with three buses despite a call from the Federation of Nepalese National Entrepreneurs not to resume public transportation service until their demands are met by the government.
“We have resumed the operation of buses by ensuring compliance of each and every instruction received from the government,” said Dipak Bhandari, one of the operators from the Mayur Transportation service.
The government has asked public transport entrepreneurs to carry only 50 percent passengers of their total seat capacity. The government has also made it mandatory for drivers and conductors to wear masks and equip buses with adequate sanitizers to be provided to the passengers. “The instructions given by the government have been strictly followed,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the government had announced to allow public transportation entrepreneurs to resume short-haul public transport within Kathmandu valley and other districts across the country. However, the Federation of Nepalese National Entrepreneurs had discarded the decision, putting forth a number of demands with the government.
The demands included assembling provisions for tax waivers, directing banks to restructure their loans for public transportation and assisting them with the implementation of safety precautions in public transport vehicles.
However, Mayur Yatayat has resumed its services, ignoring the call of the Federation not to resume their services until those demands were met by the government. “We decided to resume the services as we have already faced enough losses due to the prolonged lockdown,” said Bhandari.
The six buses resuming its services on Monday include two busses running in Kathmandu-Dhulikhel-Panauti route and the four other buses operating around the ring road within Kathmandu Valley.
The operators, however, fear that service might not function efficiently in the view of soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases within Kathmandu Valley. “Although we have resumed the services we fear that we might not receive passengers as we have anticipated now,” said Bhandari. “We may have to incur huge loss in case the operating charge comes to be higher than the fare we could collect from passengers.”
Mayur Yatayat has a total of 44 busses operating in various routes within Kathmandu Valley and beyond. Currently, the rest of the busses are kept for their servicing and tune-ups. “Since the busses weren’t used for over four months, other buses are sent for servicing,” Bhandari further said. “All other busses will be brought back to service within this week.”