House panel seeks bill for safe travel

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
House panel seeks bill for safe travel

Nov 2, 2014-

A parliamentary committee on Sunday directed the authorities to table a new Transport Management bill that would focus more on road safety and the rights of passengers.

In the wake of an accident involving two buses at Basamadi-2 in Makwanpur district on Saturday morning, the Development Committee of the House ordered the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport to revise the existing Transport Management Act (1993) and come up with a new bill within two months. Ten people, including a Russian national, were killed and 30 others injured in the accident.

In the meeting, parliamentarians sought explanations on the growing number of road accidents.

Jiwan Shahi, a parliamentarian from Humla, charged traffic police with focussing more on penalising people than disseminating knowledge on traffic rules. Similarly, many other lawmakers demanded that the drivers of vehicles who cause accidents should serve jail terms and get freedom only after paying additional compensation.     

The committee chaired by Rabindra Adhikari had summoned Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam and Home Secretary Surya Prasad Silwal, Transport Minister Bimalendra Nidhi and Secretary Tulasi Prasad Sitaula and Inspector General of Police Upendra Kanta Aryal, among others.

The directives issued by the committee have asked the Home and Transport ministries to end the syndicate practice in the public transport sector and create an environment conducive for passengers to travel safely on reasonable fares.

It has also asked the Nepal Police Headquarters to deploy personnel to inspect the activities of drivers, the condition of vehicles and passenger overload. Similarly, the committee has asked them to conduct patrols on highways and book careless drivers.

Government data show that a majority of accidents are caused by reckless driving followed by speed and mechanical defects. Responding to queries, Secretary Sitaula said that they had tried in the past to implement minimum educational qualification while issuing driving licences but this was not taken seriously. The committee directed the government on Sunday to enhance the skill of drivers and make them more accountable by regulating licence tests. IGP Aryal said the police will propose a plan to curb accidents and promote road safety. In the past 3 years, 5,440 people have been killed in road accidents while 11,520 critically injured.

Panel to study anomalies

The Development Committee of Parliament formed a seven-member taskforce on Sunday to study the irregularities and anomalies in the public transport sector. Committee Chairman Rabindra Adhikari said the panel will study the activities of the Department of Transport Management and transport entrepreneurs and come up with suggestions within a month to improve their functioning. The panel led by Shivaji Yadav has Ganesh Pahadi, Ang Tawa Sherpa, Kalpana Sop, Tulasa Rana, Dhan Bahadur Ghale and Ganesh Thagunna as members.

 

Published: 03-11-2014 08:49

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