Work begins to expand bus park at Gangabu

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 10, 2016-Work on expansion project of the New Bus Park at Gangabu has begun after a long-running dispute between the Kathmandu Municipality City and operator of the facility ended in renewed terms.

The operator, Lhotse Multipurpose Pvt Ltd, has deployed its workers to the field. “We have planned to complete the renovation of the bus park in four years,” Chairman of Lhotse Multipurpose Dipak Kunwar said. “The New Bus Park will be turned into a well-managed and disabled-friendly facility upon completion.”

Lhotse Multipurpose Pvt Ltd had been operating the facility for 45 years under the public-private partnership deal. But it landed came under the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) scanner over alleged mismanagement of the bus park, the company’s failure to pay due revenue to the metropolis.

Coming under-fire, the company proposed to give a complete facelift to the bus park with capacity enhancement, along  with the construction of commercial complex, hotels, restaurants and parks. The company also proposed to ensure smooth services to long-distance travellers, better facilities for drivers and staff, leading to a growth in revenue for the KMC. This led to the signing of a new contract between Lhotse and the KMC in August last year with added provisions of making the company service-oriented and fixing the revenue payable by the company at Rs8.3 million per year.

PM KP Oli laid the foundation stone for the bus park on Monday as a symbolic inauguration of construction. The bus park is spread over 8.2 hectares. As per terms of current deal, the bus park will be developed with parking space for 800 buses, up from the current 450, along with state-of-the-art facilities. According to the KMC, all public buses entering and exiting the Valley will be parked at the facility in Gongabu after upgradation, relieving places like Gaushala, Tilganga, Kalanki and Koteshwor of haphazard parking.

KMC chief and executive officer Rudra Singh Tamang has hailed the modernisation of the bus park as a necessary development project for better traffic management in the Valley. He declined to reveal the cost for upgrading the bus park, but pledged to make the new operation deal between KMC and Lhotse a success. “Learning from the past mistakes regarding the operation of the bus park, we will make the facility service-oriented,” he said.

Published: 10-03-2016 07:52

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