Govt to establish transport authority

Kathmandu, December 28

The government has decided to establish an independent transport authority to manage overall public transportation system of the country. The Cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to establish such a government body.

The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) had started discussions on drafting a necessary act to establish the transportation body on September 25. The ministry had assigned a team led by Gopal Sigdel, joint secretary of MoPIT, to frame the draft. The panel will submit its report along with a concrete workplan to the government within a month.

As per Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary at MoPIT, the team will finalise the draft for the overall management of the transportation sector in the country.

“The team will suggest the government on whether to allow the proposed authority to only monitor the public transportation sector or to look into all aspects of transport management,” said Adhikari, adding there have been suggestions to allow the authority to manage entire transport sector of country.

As per an earlier concept, the government had planned to assign the authority the responsibility of regulation, operation, monitoring and route management, among others.

After the crackdown on the transport syndicate on April 17, the ministry had started to hold talks with concerned stakeholders for the effective management of the public transport sector. The government had decided then to establish a transport authority to also control the syndicate system that was prevalent in the country’s public transportation sector.

As per Adhikari, the authority will be responsible for regulating all types of vehicles including electric vehicles.

The government had decided to introduce 300 electric buses on Thursday, which will also be under the management of the yet to be established transport authority.

The concept of a transport authority developed as Department of Transport Management has been unable to handle nearly 3.2 million vehicles across the nation.

The public sector transportation bodies have also welcomed government’s decision to set up a transport authority. “If we can have Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal for air transportation and Nepal Telecommunications Authority for telecom industry, why not a transport authority?” queried Yogendra Nath Karmacharya, president of Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs, adding a transport authority will help solve problems related to the transport sector.

As per Adhikari, the authority will look into all aspects of public transport — route permit, vehicle fitness, road-worthiness, among others.