Sajha Yatayat on Tuesday unveiled the disable-friendly semi-low floor bus in the Capital on Tuesday. The 41-seat bus reached Kathmandu from Rajasthan, India on Monday.
The bus will be helpful for people with disabilities, pregnant women and elderly people who have trouble boarding and getting off the vehicle with between the group and first step of the bus. Due to its mechanism, the bus can only be operated on smooth pothole-free roads.
The bus will probable be put into service on the route that covers Patan Hospital, Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital and Shahid Gangalal Hospital in Bansbari.
“We are yet to receive the route permit. But this is probably the only route on which we can operate this bus,” said Mahendra Raj Pandey, chief executive officer at Sajha, which is planning to operate the bus within a month.
Unveiling the bus, Chairperson of Sajha Cooperative Kanak Mani Dixit said the bus was bought at a nominal price.
“We paid Rs 3.5 million to the manufacturer, where as the market price is Rs 13 million,” said Dixit. “The company has provided this bus for a trail run as we have been buying all our buses from them.” The Sajha has procured all its 46 buses from Ashok Leyland, an Indian automobile manufacturer.
The luxury bus is equipped with mobile charging points, separate hanging straps, CCTV camera and a TV set for the passengers.
Amrit Nakarmi, a professor affiliated with the Center for Energy Studies at the Institute of Engineering, said operating such a bus would open a new avenue for better public transportation in the country.
“This will encourage the public abandon private vehicles, which could reduce traffic congestion and save fuel,” said Nakarmi.
Following the Sajha suit, the private companies have started operating big and comfortable buses in the Valley leading to a significant rise in the number of spacious buses in the past three years.
Bhusan Tuladhar, an environmentalist said, “Following the footsteps of Sajha, these private companies are operating big, luxury buses, which has become a game changer in public transpiration.”
After operating environment-friendly buses (Euro III compliant), Sajha has come up with yet another novelty—the disabled-friendly bus, Tuladhar noted.
“It will difinitely have a positive impact on reducing vehicle emissions,” Tuladhar added.