Transportation entrepreneurs have resumed public transportation service inside the Kathmandu Valley and other districts from Thursday.
As per the decision of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association, most of the transportation companies have resumed their service as per the demand of the passengers.
Though a few transportation companies, including Sajha Cooperatives had resumed their services earlier after the decision of the government to allow plying public vehicles inside a district, majority of the companies had not resumed their service demanding creation of favourable environment by resolving financial and other problems faced by the transportation entrepreneurs.
The transport entrepreneurs became ready to operate public vehicles after the Nepal Rastra Bank addressed their demand through its monetary policy for the current fiscal year.
Vijaya Bahadur Swar, senior vice president of the federation, said that the transport entrepreneurs had started plying their vehicles inside the Kathmandu Valley and inside other districts as per the decision of the government.
From today, more public vehicles than the required numbers came into operation in the Kathmandu Valley, he said.
He said that the vehicles were also running between the two districts in some places where the cities of the two separate districts are attached together.
He, however, said that the decision of operating the vehicles inside a district was not scientific to combat COVID-19 as the needy people were coming to Kathmandu by changing vehicles many times and paying high fare to private vehicles.
He said that the decision of resuming public vehicles inside a district was not practical from the aspect of controlling people’s movements and combating infection of coronavirus. He suggested the government to allow plying public vehicles in the both short and long routes maintaining social distance and other protocols.
However, the passengers in the public vehicles in the Kathmandu Valley are not found maintaining physical distance. The passengers are found occupying almost all seats in some public buses.
Swar said that maintaining social distance in the public vehicles was not possible from only the side of the transport entrepreneurs and staff members.
All parties, including the government, transport entrepreneurs, transportation workers, passengers, and regulatory agencies of the government should work together to implement social distancing in the public vehicles, he said.
Health experts have warned that operating public vehicles without maintaining social distance and other protocols would not do good to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Spokesperson of the Department of Transport Tirtha Raj Khanal said that the department had asked traffic police to monitor public vehicles plying in the roads.
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