Kathmandu, March 10
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Singha Durbar, claimed that it had taken under control 63 government vehicles for being used without permit on public holidays on Friday and Saturday.
The MTPD’s claim came just a day after some activists staged protest at Maitighar Mandala against misuse of government vehicles yesterday. Members of Mission Nepal, a non-governmental organisation, which had organised the protest, claimed that they had compelled the traffic cops to stop a total of 103 government vehicles and check if they had permits to ply during public holidays.
MTPD Spokesperson SP Jay Raj Sapkota said they had taken action against such vehicles yesterday and on Friday, which was also a public holiday. SP Sapkota said they had held the vehicles until 5:00 PM at the MTPD after the drivers failed to present them necessary papers. Police, however, did not charge them with any offence. According to SP Sapkota, it was a case of misuse of government property. He said that they did not have authority to take action against such violators. He also said that the traffic police had informed about the misuse of government vehicles to the agencies concerned.
Chairman of Mission Nepal, Krishna Prasad Panthi, said they had informed the traffic police about their protest, but the traffic police had not taken them seriously. “Only after we obstructed such vehicles and people noticed us that traffic cops sought permits from the drivers of such vehicles.”Government officials are required to take mandatory permit from concerned offices like District Administration Office, if they need to use government vehicles on public holidays for official purposes.
According to Panthi, “Use of government vehicles for personal purposes is not permitted. Such acts make the public believe that even grave offences go unpunished. This has to be stopped, we want to change this,” said Panthi.
A version of this article appears in print on March 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.