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With syndicate broken, transporters compete to launch new vehicles

- BIRENDRA KC, KASKI

Aug 29, 2016-With the long-held monopoly of Pokhara Bus Entrepreneurs’ Committee now broken, transport entrepreneurs here are competing to launch new public vehicles with improved faculties, benefitting travellers.

The syndicate was officially broken two months ago after the Transport Management Office issued route permission to Bindhyabasini Transport Bus Entrepreneurs’ Committee.

Bindhyabasini, which had initially introduced three buses, has now added 26 new buses. It plans to add an additional 14 buses soon.

The Pokhara Bus Entrepreneurs’ Committee, which had strongly resisted Bindhyabasini’s entry, has also replaced its 14 old vehicles with new ones after facing competition in the market.

Bindhyabasini’s President Sam Bahadur Gurung said it has been easier for people to travel after the addition of the new public vehicles in the town.

The entrepreneurs, however, complained about the lack of passengers and parking spaces, and poor road condition. Pokhara Transport Entrepreneurs’ Committee alone operates 265 buses. “We are preparing to add more buses,” said Amrit Nath Sharma, secretary of the committee. “We will add 251 more buses within a few months.”

Beside the buses, micro-buses and taxies also operate in large numbers in Pokhara.

Amid increased competition, the transporters said their revenues have fallen. “The seats are fully filled only during office hours,” said Santosh Nepali, a bus driver. “With the addition of the new buses, it has been difficult to find passengers.”

According to the Transport Management Office, Gandaki, a total of 139,249 vehicles have been registered in the zone. Of them, 34,384 are buses, trucks, jeeps and cars, while 105,220 are two-wheelers.

Of the total vehicles registered in the zone, only about 7,000 operate outside Pokhara, according to Bharat Poudel, chief of the office.

Published: 29-08-2016 09:27

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