Call to ensure 50 per cent discount for elderly in public transport

Anyone who occupies seat reserved for the elderly shall be fined Rs 1,000

Kathmandu, February 5

A  member of the National Assembly has drawn the attention of the government to poor implementation of the existing law, which ensures 50 per cent discount for senior citizens in public transport.

Speaking at the zero hour of the Upper House today, lawmaker Udaya Sharma Poudel said senior citizens were deprived of the facility. “Public vehicles plying the valley road and other long route buses have been denying the facility of 50 per cent discount to the senior citizens,” she said. The Procedure for Senior Citizens in Public Transport-2014, states that a senior citizen shall be entitled to 50 per cent discount in bus, minibus and micro-bus on the basis of ID card indicating his or her age.

Poudel also raised the issue of seats to be reserved for women, senior citizens and differently-abled persons. “Public vehicles doesn’t abide by seat quota reserved for the rightful persons. I would like to urge the authorities concerned to implement the law in an effective manner through monitoring,” she said.

The government has already implemented the Senior Citizen Identity Card Directive to provide senior citizens with protection and social security under the constitution.

As per the directive, the government will issue ID cards to senior citizens through local levels. Any person above 60 years of age may submit an application to the concerned local level for ID card.

Senior citizens comprise 2.2 million of the total population of the country. Senior citizens get 50 per cent discount in public transport and government hospitals on the basis of ID card.

The Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act-2019, enacted by the municipal assembly of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, states that any passenger, who occupies a seat reserved for women, senior citizens and differently-abled persons shall be liable to a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first instance and Rs 2,000 from the second time onwards.

There is a provision of  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, its registration may be revoked, according to the act. However, many of the provisions have yet to be implemented.