September 25: Transport entrepreneurs are preparing to open advance bookings for the upcoming festivals from the beginning of October. Stakeholders decided to open advance booking in order to manage traffic congestion during the festivals.
A joint meeting of the stakeholders including officials from the Department of Transport Management, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division and transport entrepreneurs held at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport on Friday took a decision to this effect.
Saroj Sitaula, senior vice president of the Federation of Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs, said that ticket bookings will not be opened until the roads damaged due to floods and landslides are repaired. Although the government has formed a task force for road maintenance, he expressed doubt that the work would be completed within a short span before Dashain.
At present, most of the roads in the country including Narayangadh-Muglin road section, Narayangadh-Butwal road section, Muglin-Pokhara road section, Tokha-Chhare road section, BP Highway are damaged.
Sitaula express concerns that road travel will not be safe if the roads are not repaired, especially during the festive season when there is more traffic.
Apart from this, the transport entrepreneurs have also demanded to increase the fares of public vehicles. They argued that the fares need to be revised because of the rise in price of petroleum products.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala formed a task force under the leadership of Uddhav Rijal, director general of the DoTM, on Friday to improve the transport management during the festivals.
The taskforce has been mandated to submit a report within a week with suggestions. After this taskforce studies and submits the report to the ministry, the date of ticket booking will be decided.
Around 100,000 are expected to leave the Kathmandu Valley in about 5,000 vehicles each day ahead of the festivals of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath.
The Dashain festival kicks off on October 15 this year, as per the Vedic Hindu lunar calendar.