Govt to stop issuing night bus permits for hill roads
KATHMANDU, SEP 21 -
Shaken by a spate of horrific bus accidents in recent months, the Department of Transport Management said it would stop issuing new permits to operate passenger service on hill roads at night. The department issued the decision on Thursday in a bid to prevent mishaps on hill roads after more than 60 people were killed in around half a dozen major accidents since July.
“We will not issue any route permit from today for night buses until we get the Roads Department’s okay after they have made a study of the roads,” said Sarad Adhikari, technical director of the department. Addressing a workshop on road safety at NADA Auto Show 2012, he said that the move was designed to prevent accidents involving public vehicles that are being operated under pressure from locals. The Nepal Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) on Thursday organised a workshop on the sidelines of its expo to identify the reasons behind the rising number of road accidents. In the last fiscal year, there were 8,892 road accidents across the country which killed 1,837 people.
Human error, bad roads, vehicle fitness or technical errors are the three main reasons behind road accidents in Nepal, according to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) Chief DIG Ganesh Raj Rai. “Compared to the 4,637 accidents recorded in the fiscal year 2008-09, the number of accidents was almost double,” he said.
Participants at the workshop underscored the need to modify the current provision of licence issuance, stop haphazard operation of vehicles on new roads, establish vehicle fitness centres at different parts of the country, expedite road extension and complete road improvement work on time. They also said that it was necessary to offer refresher training to drivers on traffic rules and road safety.
Yogendra Karmacharya, president of the transport entrepreneurs’ federation, urged the government to fix bus stops by providing appropriate space to reduce congestion. “We will just pick up and drop off passengers at the stops,” he said. There is a need to set up a National Transport Development Board for better transport management and planned development of roads in the country, he added.
The workshop was attended by officials and representatives of the Department of Transport Management, Department of Roads, MTPD, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, traffic and road experts, NADA and Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs. At the meeting, NADA expressed its interest in maintaining green road dividers, educating students with the support of the traffic police and investing in vehicle fitness centres across the country.
NADA president Saurav Jyoti said that since there was not even a single vehicle fitness centre in operation, they were ready to set up such centres under public-private partnership. “Vehicles in poor condition are plying the roads as there is no centre to check their fitness,” he added.
Meanwhile, the workshop decided to hold meetings on road safety monthly at the transport management department, educate 2,000 students within a month with the assistance of NADA, install green dividers on Durbar Marg as a model in public-private partnership and stop haphazard picking up and dropping off of passengers on the Tinkune-Maitighar stretch, the busiest route in the Kathmandu valley.
Posted on: 2012-09-21 08:34