KATHMANDU, Sept 17: Transportation entrepreneurs and trade unions have agreed to put five minimum safety measures in place while operating long, medium and short routes public transportation services.
Following a meeting between Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association (FNNTEA) and three major trade unions in public transportation services, they have decided to embrace at least five health protocols and safety measures while operating the public transportation services from Wednesday.
After a nationwide ban on public transportation services for over five and a half months, the government on Tuesday decided to allow them to operate such services from Thursday.
As part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, the government banned public transportation services from March 24. While restriction was later relaxed for short-route public transportation services in the Kathmandu Valley, buses and other public vehicles have remained off the road due to the prohibitory order. Now, the government has decided to lift its ban on all public transportation services.
The decision to embrace safety precautions by transport entrepreneurs and trade unions comes in the wake of concerns about possible spread of COVID-19 infection.
Issuing a joint statement, the three leading trade unions and FNNTEA said that resuming the public transportation services will help in normalizing daily life following necessary health safety standards. They have also appealed to the public to follow necessary health safety standards while using public transportation services.
Transportation workers including drivers, helpers, conductors and booking staff must use health safety items including mask, sanitizers, gloves and face visor (except for driver), according to the statement.
Vehicles will carry not more passengers not more than 50 percent of their total capacity and they will be allowed to collect 50 percent higher fare. Passengers must use face masks during their entire journey while also maintaining social distance while getting on and off the transport as well as while dining for passengers on long routes.
Passengers will be provided hand sanitizers before getting on the public vehicles. All transport companies will provide insurance coverage for their workers, according to the health standards agreed by transportation entrepreneurs and trade unions.
SAFETY STANDARDS THAT PUBLIC VEHICLES WILL FOLLOW:
1- Health equipments like mask, sanitizers, gloves and face visor for workers
2- Limiting passengers in vehicles not more than 50 percent of capacity
3- Face mask, social distance enforcement for passengers while getting off and on vehicles
4- Providing hand sanitizers for passengers while getting on vehicles