PM Dahal directs an end to transport syndicate

Kathmandu, August 17

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today instructed Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Ramesh Lekhak to take all possible measures, including ending the syndicate system, to ensure that road accidents were minimised.

“The government’s poor regulation, bus owners’ interest in earning fast money, driver and driving members who carried passengers without caring for capacity, syndicate system prevalent in transportation system and compulsion of passengers to travel even by taking risk are responsible for the fatal accident of Kavre,” the PM stated in the instruction, according to a statement issued by spokesperson for the PM’s office Binod Bahadur Kunwar.

Praising the initial initiatives taken by minister Lekhak, the PM instructed him to take all essential measures to bring reckless drivers and transporters to book, end syndicate system by employing legal and administrative measures and to keep him informed about progress on the issues.

The PM issued the instructions after members of Parliament today urged the government that the syndicate system in passenger vehicles be scrapped and road conditions upgraded to check frequent fatal road accidents.

A bus accident that took place in Kavre on Monday killed 27 people. It was not an isolated incident but such accidents have become a regular occurrence, undermining the country’s transportation system.

Taking part in Zero and Special Hours of today’s Parliament meeting, lawmakers drew the government’s attention towards daily deaths in road accidents.

Along with transportation entrepreneurs, the government is also responsible for such fatal accidents, they said. Syndicate of certain entrepreneurs and poor condition of roads are responsible for such accidents, they said.

Syndicate members continue to use old vehicles without letting new owners compete, the lawmakers said.

Lawmakers, including Bidur Sapkota, Sita Nepali, Prem Suwal, Janak Raj Joshi, Durga Paudel and Kamala Pun drew the government’s attention towards its inability to upgrade roads, more so in rural areas. As the government is not paying attention to this, accidents are taking place on almost daily basis, they said.

They said accidents took place, as the administration had become a mute spectator and would not act even against the owners of public vehicles carrying passengers and goods exceeding their capacity for money, adding that the accident that took place in Kavre was a result of the same negligence.

Lawmaker Bidur Sapkota said, “Injured people in Kavre accident are saying that syndicate system and poor road condition were its causes. When will the government act on it?”

MP Kamala Pun said the Kavre accident took place, as the bus carried rice, cement and other items in addition to passengers far above its capacity.

Meanwhile, MPs, including NC’s Jivan Bahadur Shahi, said 565 village councils proposed by Local Bodies’ Restructuring Commission would be insufficient to make public services accessible to people and that the number was against the spirit of federalism.