Govt to distribute taxicab permits from today

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 21, 2017-

The government is finally distributing taxi operating permits to survivors of April 2015 earthquake from Wednesday after postponing the plan twice in the past.

The Department of Transportation Management (DoTM) is all set to hold lotteries on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to shortlist names of people who will soon get permission to operate taxicabs in the country.

The DoTM had to resort to lottery to shortlist candidates after the number of applicants far exceeded taxi operating permits up for grabs. 

The government is issuing taxi operating permits to 1,500 quake survivors of 14 districts that were hard hit by earthquakes of April and May, 2015. However, the number of applicants seeking the permits stands at a whopping 149,000.

The lotteries will be held at All Nepal Football Association (ANFA)’s ground at Chyasal, Lalitpur, in the presence of media personnel, representatives of consumer rights organisations, district administration offices, applicants and the public, according to DoTM Spokesperson Tokraj Pandey.

“The lottery will be conducted by visually impaired people to maintain transparency,” Pandey said, adding, “The event will be broadcast live.”

On Wednesday, the DoTM intends to distribute 491 taxi operating permits to quake survivors of Kavrepalanchwok, Nuwakot and Ramechhap districts. On Thursday, another 513 quake survivors from Dolakha, Sindhuli and Sindupalchok districts will receive the permits. On Friday, 496 quake survivors from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Makawanpur, Dhading, Okhaldhunga, Gorkha and Rasuwa districts will receive taxi operating permits.

The government had initially said taxi operating permits would be extended to quake survivors of 14 districts on May 9. But that could not happen as the country was preparing for the first phase of local level elections.

The government then said the permits would be extended on May 27, 28 and 29. But the government defaulted on its promise again. It is said political interference and pressure from taxi operators, apart from procedural delays, led to postponement of the plan to issue taxi operating permits.

Currently, 8,500 taxis are plying on the streets of the Kathmandu Valley, including the 2,850 new taxicabs registered last year, according to the DoTM. Of these taxis, 5,650 are operating in the Capital. 

The DoTM statistics show that there were 7,500 taxis in Kathmandu in 2000 when the Valley’s population hovered around 1.3 million. 

Published: 21-06-2017 08:17

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