Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 4:

While the efforts of the three municipalities — Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur — have (almost) been a failure to revive the long-dormant trolley bus service, the Kathmandu Electrical Vehicle Alliance (KEVA) has come up with a plan that can make the service profitable.

KEVA recently compiled a business plan of operation for the Kathmandu Surya Binayak trolley bus system as a public private-partnership venture. According to this plan, the service should be a highly viable business proposal if the private sector is involved and if the service is between Tripureshwor and Surya Binayak.

"If trolley buses are operated along the existing route with 22 reconditioned buses, the system can be a highly viable business venture," KEVA officials said today. A KEVA statement added the trolley bus service, which can be operated at high profit with relatively low upfront investment of Rs 40 million, has been running on a loss because of the short route — Tripureshwor to Koteshwor only, less number of buses operate and because the municipalities manage the system on their own.

Two years ago, the Winrock International Nepal had prepared a report on the revival of the Tripureshwor-Surya Binayak trolley bus system. The study showed that the investors can make profit of Rs 8 million annually, with a Rs 40 million investment on repair works and working capital generation to revive the trolley bus along the existing route. The report was prepared on the basis that at least 22 buses operate between Tripureshwor and Surya Binayak, private sector must be given the responsibility to operate and manage the system through a transparent bidding process.