Long route buses remain parked as the government is yet to give a final nod. (Representative Photo)
KATHMANDU: A meeting of the Chief District Officers (CDO) of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur district decided to relax the prohibitory order and let public vehicles with more than 16 seats operate their service abiding odd-even system.
The administration directed service providers to ensure that the basic precautionary safety measures like maintaining social distance, making sanitizer available at the entrance of the bus, making the bus staffers use gloves mandatorily and disinfecting the vehicle regularly.
With the commitment to abide by the directives, the public vehicles in Kathmandu started providing service as per the odd-even system from Thursday.
However, the government which had earlier decided to let the operation of long-route transportation from September 17 have not made it clear whether it is still committed to the previous decision or mulling over introducing new restrictions from then.
In the meantime, the transportation entrepreneurs seem adamant about letting the government prolong the suspension of their service. They have overtly declared that they would run their service from September 17. They have started making preparation for the operation as well.
The government has not responded to their comment to date.
Will run vehicles abiding coronavirus safety standards: Transport entrepreneurs
Transport entrepreneurs, meanwhile, have appealed to the government to make a conducive environment to resume the service stalled nearly for 6 months.
Representatives of major federations of transport entrepreneurs and the workers union briefed Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Basanta Kumar Nembang and made it clear that they have decided to resume the service stalled for nearly 6 months.
According to the sources, Minister Nembang promised to raise the concern of the entrepreneurs in the meeting of the high-level committee on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic formed as the COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee (CCMC).
According to Deepak Adhikari, the Senior Vice President of the transport entrepreneurs federation, there are around 1,500 thousand workers engaged in the transportation sector.
He reiterates that they and their families are on the verge of starvation, many of them have become the victim of depression and other mental hazards.
“We are planning to resume long-route transportation by carrying out the PCR test of both the driver and his assistant,” Adhikari told Khabarhub, “We need to ensure all health protocols.”
He questioned the rationale behind permitting the service in places like Kathmandu where the coronavirus cases are on the rise almost every day.
“Many private vehicles have been taking the people to and from charging passengers double or treble high price of the regular one, why can’t the public transport resume when it agrees to abide by the guidelines and the safety measures standards?” he questioned.
He informed that the entrepreneurs have made all preparations to resume the service from September 17.
Despite the preparations on the part of the entrepreneurs, the government is yet to announce its decision on the issue.