Transporters want new route nixed

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 16:

A large number of the transport committees of Bhaktapur have voiced their vehement opposition to the new route given to the Lalitpur Van Entrepreneurs Association (LVEA) microbuses. Nine committees, including the Bhaktapur Minibus Entrepreneurs’ Association and the Araniko Highway Transport Service Committee, have vociferated that they will not allow the LVEA micro buses to ply on their route. The new route for the microbuses is from Ratnapark to Lagankhel via Koteswor and back again via Ghantaghar. Around 18 microbuses have been given permission by the Department of Transport Management with the consent of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs. LVEA vehicles could not ply on this route yesterday, as the Bhaktapur committee members seized three microbuses and smashed the windowpanes of one, senior LVEA field inspector Rajendra KC said. “To counter their terror, we seized 13 of their minibuses and released those later in the evening,” he said, adding that the Bhaktapur committee members had also forcibly taken photocopies of

the microbus drivers’ licences and photocopies of the documents of the vehicles.

Around six microbuses plied on the route today, with representatives of both the parties meeting for talks at the Deputy Superintendent of Police office at the District Police Office, Bhaktapur. LVEA president Niratna Newa said, “We, including DSP Raju Manandhar, tried to convince them (Bhaktapur committee members), saying we would reduce the frequency of our vehicles. But they don’t seem to be in a mood to relent. Instead, they want the permit withdrawn.” Newa said the driver and passengers of a microbus were beaten up today. He said the DSP had assured them of the safety of their buses and passengers.