Transporters refusing to book tickets to face music

Kathmandu, September 7

The government today has warned transport entrepreneurs that it will take serious action against them if they refuse to take pre-booking of Dashain bus tickets for commuters regardless of any reasons from Friday.

Citing that transporters have been dilly-dallying to accept the pre-booking of Dashain bus tickets with different vested interests, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) said that any bus ticket counter within and outside the Valley refusing to accept booking from Friday will be subject to action.

Rup Narayan Bhattarai, director general of DoTM, said that 14 separate inspection teams have already been deployed in theValley to monitor bus ticket counters and assure that transport entrepreneurs are accepting ticket pre-bookings.

“Transport entrepreneurs have principally agreed with the government to open pre-booking of Dashain bus tickets from today. In case we receive any complaints regarding any entrepreneur refusing to take pre-booking of tickets to any destination, DoTM will immediately take action,” said Bhattarai.

Bhattarai also alleged that transport entrepreneurs have been bargaining with the government with various impractical demands. “We have already assured transport entrepreneurs that the prospects of their demand to allow top carriage in vehicles and adjustment of new public transportation fare will be taken into consideration. But it is not an overnight process,” Bhattarai said, adding that transport entrepreneurs should open the pre-booking of bus tickets in full-fledged manner at the earliest.

In case transport entrepreneurs refuse to accept pre-booking of bus tickets, Bhattarai said that DoTM will resort to strict action against such entrepreneurs as mandated by the Transport Management Act, 1993 and Vehicle and Transport Management Rules, 1997. He said action will be taken against transport entrepreneurs, including cancellation of route permit of their vehicles if commuters are denied pre-booking of bus tickets.

DoTM inspection team today reported that a number of ticket counters in the Valley are accepting pre-booking of bus tickets. “Transport entrepreneurs are only throwing tantrum at the government. We are optimistic that they will accept pre-booking of bus tickets in full fledged manner,” added Bhattarai.

However, Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs, said that the government has overlooked the genuine demands put forth by transport entrepreneurs, which is why they are not in a position to start issuing bus tickets for Dashain.

“Besides the issues regarding top carriage and adjustment of public transportation fare, the government has not shown any interest to repair and maintain highways and rural roads damaged by the floods and landslides. Transport entrepreneurs are not in a position to take the risk by operating their vehicles on such roads,” said Sitaula.