Give funds or take back trolley buses, govt told

Kathmandu, October 15:

The Joint Management Committee (JMC) of the Trolley Bus Service (TBS) has told the government that it either come up with ways to keep the trolley buses running or it take back its management.

“The government should either grant Rs 9 crores or hand over the management of the buses to private companies. If this is not possible, we have no other options but to return the TBS to the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management through the Ministry of Local Development,” said Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, the chief executive officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC). “The government has not responded to the letter sent by the KMC in this regard,” he said.

The letter states that the KMC is incurring a loss of some 60 per cent more than its income.

Last year the TBS made Rs 2,318,000 with three trolley buses, while Rs 3,403,000 was spent for its operation. The TBS is yet to pay the Nepal Electricity Authority bills amounting to Rs 2,200,000.

“Before handing the TBS over to municipalities, a study had shown that Rs 9 crores would be needed to operate the bus service,” the letter states. The bus service is supposed to be run by the KMC, Madhyapur Thimi municiapality and Bhaktapur municipality. However, the letter, signed by Thapaliya, states that the two municipalities have not been supporting the KMC in running the buses because the buses do not reach their municipalities currently.

A meeting of the JMC has formed a five-member committee under the leadership of Bishnu Dutta Gautam, the CEO of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality, to hire a consultant who would study the involvement of the private sector in the business. The members of the committee are Shankar Raj Kandel and Bhairav Bogati of the KMC, Moti Bhakta Shrestha of Bhaktapur Municipality and Damodar Lama of the TBS office.