Mixed reaction to seizure of vehicles

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 18:

The Valley Traffic Police Office (VTPO) has seized around hundred public vehicles to ensure that they ply during the three-day Maoist bandh. The entrepreneurs have expressed anger over the seizure of their vehicles. They say the government never provides compensation in case their vehicles are damaged. “The sheer irresponsibility on the part of the government is condemnable. The entrepreneurs should be allowed to ply vehicles at their own risk,” said Punya Lal Pradhan, president of Mid Valley Bus Entrepreneurs Association (MVBEA). He came down heavily on the government for not providing compensation for the damaged vehicles.

Some of the buses belonging to the association were seized and taken to Baggikhana yesterday. Field-in-charge of MVBEA Dhruba Kafle said the traffic police seized 20 buses which ply from Chyamasingh in Bhaktapur to Kathmandu.

The traffic police has taken over 45 minibuses and vans from Lalitpur owned by both the Lalitpur Minibus Entrepreneurs Association and the Lalitpur Van Entrepreneurs Association. Traffic police officials, however, declined to comment. Around two to five security personnel are escorting each vehicle plying in the city. Some of the vehicles were even used for carrying security forces. Lalitpur Minibus Entrepreneurs Association president Tulsi Maharjan, who is also the vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs (FNTE), said the entrepreneurs are in a dilemma. “We are both happy and sad,” Maharjan said. “Happy in the sense that we’ll be able to pay our bank instalments on time and sad because Maoists may damage our vehicles.” He held the political parties responsible for creating such a situation.

“They say that they are fighting for the people but they themselves are causing trouble every day. We heard that the five parties are planning to call more strikes. We cannot tolerate anymore,” he added. However, Nepal Yatayat buses with police escorts along with minibuses and micro-vans were seen plying in the Valley today.