Protest obstructs transport service

  • Traffic crackdown on public vehicles
- AGANDHAR TIWARI, Parbat

Jan 28, 2015-

Transport workers in the district have halted public transport services on Wednesday after the district traffic police tightened its noose on public vehicles and transporters carrying passengers beyond the vehicle’s seat capacity by flouting traffic regulations.

The public transport workers had staged protests at Shivalaya Chowk in Kushma district headquarters, leaving scores of passengers stranded. The transport workers of short-route vehicles that serve rural parts of the district stated that they had resorted to this kind of protest in response to the action of traffic police.

“If we do not carry passengers beyond the seat capacity of our vehicles from here to Nayapul in Kaski, the fare collected will not even cover our fuel expenses,” said driver Ram Nepali.

“Furthermore, we have to give 50 percent discount in transportation fares to students,” he said, “how would we be able to sustain ourselves if we do not make a profit.”

A kind of a stand-off between transport workers and traffic personnel was witnessed at Shivalaya Chowk on Wednesday when each remained adamant on their stance. As a result vehicular movement in the district had come to a standstill the entire day.  

 “Although we can allow the transporters to carry passengers beyond the seat capacity in the bazaar area where the speed limit is 20 km per hour, we cannot allow them to do so in the highways,” said district traffic police in-charge Krishna Bahadur Khatri, adding that they will be taking action against those flouting traffic regulations.

Khatri further claimed that the demand of the transport workers is outrageous as they want to be allowed “to jam-pack the public vehicles with passengers as if the latter were animals.”

Expressing ignorance on the matter, chairperson Purna Bahadur Malla of the Parbat Transport and Bus Entrepreneur’s Committee claimed that transport workers had staged the protest without their knowledge.

“But it is hard to make some profit if you are operating short-route vehicles without carrying passengers beyond seat capacity,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pokhara bound vehicles took advantage of the halt in transport services and charged passengers as much as Rs 150 for a mere five kilometre ride.

The traffic police had tightened security checks as a counter measure to minimise accidents caused due to passenger overload in long-route vehicle plying the highways.

Published: 29-01-2015 08:55

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