Trolly bus staff paid, but no work

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Metropolitan City is paying around Rs 227,000 every month for the salaries of 28 employees of the trolley bus station just for signing their attendance everyday.

The trolley bus service, which began in 1975, has shut and reopened several times. It was last stopped on November 27 and has a slim chance of reopening.

"Although a joint committee of three municipalities -- Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Madhyapur -- took the responsibility of operating the trolley bus for 20 years, they gave up after five years," said Punya Prasad Bhandari, chief at Trolley Bus Service Office. He said these municipalities had cited load-shedding and the shorter routes for not being able to carry out the responsibility. "Only three out of 32 buses are in running condition," added Bhandari. The employees sign attendance daily and do nothing thereafter," said Bhandari, adding that the repeated requests of the employees to the Ministry of Labour and Transport and KMC to relocate them had fallen on deaf ears. He stressed on the need to formulate new policies for the smooth and effective functioning of public transportation.

Shankar Kafle, store in-charge at the station, expressed dissatisfaction over the government's apathy towards their problems. "Trolley bus is eco-friendly and pollution-free. There is a huge potential of such buses on ring road and the Tarai districts," he argued. He said more than 80 per cent of the motor parts used in the vehicles could be manufactured in Nepal while the engines had a life-time guarantee. He claimed that the oil mafia in the government had effected the closure of the trolley bus services.

Meanwhile, Narayan Gopal Malego, executive officer at KMC, said it was impossible to resume trolly bus services until the construction work of Araniko Highway was completed.