SC asks govt why syndicate exists

  • Public transport anomalies
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
SC asks govt why syndicate exists

Dec 21, 2014-

The Supreme Court on Sunday summoned government officials including Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to explain within three days their failure to check the syndicate system practised in the public transport sector in line with its previous order.

Responding to a contempt of court case filed by Advocate Jyoti Baniya, a single bench of Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana issued the order. The court has ordered all the defendants except the prime minister to appear in person. Baniya states that by imposing a syndicate, a few transport entrepreneurs have had control over routes in such a way that they do not allow a new operator to acquire the route permit.

The apex court in 2011 issued an order to the government to end the practice and annul provisions and agreements that harbour the “ill” system. On January 22, 2007 and on January 10, 2008, the National Federation of Nepal Transportation Entrepreneurs (NFNTE) and the Federation of Truck Tanker and Transport Entrepreneurs Nepal had reached an agreement with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) that the recommendation of the NFNTE would be mandatory to register any transport-related organisation and while issuing new route permits.

On January 11, 2008, a ministerial level meeting of the MoHA, the MoF and the DoTM endorsed the agreement.

The case argues that the transport entrepreneurs have been fleecing people by imposing “unnecessary” charges. For instance, they are found to be charging a whooping Rs375,000 on the Kathmandu-Tatopani route against the permitted rate of Rs75,000. Advocate Baniya charges that the authorities have failed to tackle the issue as some of them are at times acting in collusion with the offenders.

The plaint also calls for the formation of a committee to ensure that route permits are managed well and that there is no syndicate.

Driver crashed bus out of spite: Police

Nuwakot

The driver caused the October 24 accident in the district that killed 14 and injured more than 50 passengers to exact revenge on the bus owner, police investigation has shown.

According to statements of driver Aita Singh Tamang, he had a dispute with the bus owner, Kabindra Lal Shrestha, over his pay three months ago.

Shrestha, his wife and daughter were on the bus when the accident happened. His daughter was among those killed in the tragedy. The bus was also found to be carrying passengers beyond capacity when the accident occurred.

Police probe showed that Tamang of Madanpur had got a fake driving licence. Deputy Superintendent of Police Arun Poudel said his licence had the same number as that of another person. DSP Poudel said a case has been filed against Tamang also on forgery charge. The District Court has remanded Tamang in judicial custody.

The passenger bus (Ba 2 Kha 2266) fell off the road in Belkot, Nuwakot, and plunged about 200 metres. The bus was headed for the Rasuwa district headquarters from Kathmandu.

Among the injured, two are still receiving treatment in the Capital, said Kul Bahadur Khadgi, chairman of the Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Bus Entrepreneurs Committee. The committee said more than Rs10 million was spent on the treatment of the injured people.

Published: 22-12-2014 08:56

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