Kathmandu, September 17
The Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act-2019, recently enacted by the municipal assembly of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, aims at making drivers, helpers and passengers more disciplined.
Section 11 of the act states that any passenger, who occupies a seat reserved for women, senior citizens and persons with disabilities, or produces expired or fake student ID card to get concession for transportation fair shall be liable to a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first instance and Rs 2,000 from the second time onwards. A passenger, who throws waste from a moving vehicle or is drunk or uses tobacco products in public vehicles, shall be punished with a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first instance and Rs 2,500 from the second time onwards.
Passengers involved in sexual harassment or pick-pocketing in public vehicles shall be handed over to the nearest police office for legal action, by imposing a fine of Rs 5,000. The act also stipulates a provision of stringent action against drivers and helpers. “If a driver uses foul words, doesn’t give priority to pedestrians at zebra-crossings, drives vehicle under the influence or consumes tobacco products and pastes obscene pictures in the vehicle, he/she shall be liable to a fine ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 for the first instance,” states the act. Helpers of public vehicles will also be liable to fine ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 for using foul words and working under the influence of alcohol or consuming tobacco products.
There will be a nine-member monitoring committee led by a member of the municipal executive, designated by KMC mayor to carry out monitoring of transport management in Kathmandu and impose fine on rule violators. The committee also includes representatives from traffic police, city police, organisations working for the rights of consumers and transport entrepreneurs. If any company or organisation violates transport rules put in place by the government, its registration may be revoked, according to the act.
The act also stipulates a provision of travel insurance for passengers. Municipal executive is obliged to ensure travel safety, designate parking areas, issue route permits, prepare and implement gender and disabled-friendly mechanism in public transportation; develop overhead bridges, subways and zebra-crossings, enhance road safety and establish charging stations for electric vehicles.
A version of this article appears in print on September 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.