Kathmandu, October 8
Transport entrepreneurs today suggested to the government to give Dashain holidays a little early this year keeping in view the acute shortage of fuel and the pressure to transport all people in the Valley going home for the biggest Nepali festival.
General Secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs, Saroj Sitaula, said the FNTE has told the government that they would not be able to handle the flow of passengers during Dashain festival even if they were provided sufficient fuel.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had held a meeting with FNTE officials today to request them to create conditions for civil servants and people from outside the Kathmandu Valley to go home for the festival, said Spokesperson for the home ministry Laxmi Dhakal.
Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi, however, said management of vehicles for people going home for Dashain festival would depend on availability of fuel.
“We have clearly told the government that we cannot handle the flow of passengers if it decides to give holidays from the usual date as vehicles need to queue up for fuel,” Sitaula said, adding that it would, however, be possible for them to transport all passengers if the government decides to give early holidays.
He said the FNTE has also suggested to the government to close schools early for the festival this year, saying most people would go home early if their children’s schools are closed. Besides they have also suggested to the government to make refueling arrangements along the highways.
According to Tara Bhattarai, sub-inspector at Nagdhunga checkpoint, only 19,083 people left the Valley in the last 24 hours. This is less than 40 per cent compared to the regular flow of passengers leaving Kathmandu for the Dashain festival in previous years.
A version of this article appears in print on October 09, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.