Quake survivors alloted 1,500 taxicab licences

- Post Report, Kathmandu
According to the DoTM, there are currently 8,500 taxis on the streets of the Kathmandu Valley including the 2,850 new taxi cabs registered last year

Jun 24, 2017-The government completed the process of distributing licences for operating taxicab to the survivors of April 2015 Gorkha earthquake on Friday.

The Department of Transportation Management (DoTM) allotted permits to 1,500 quake survivors through a lucky draw amid presence of government officials and representatives of several institutions. 

The DoTM conducted lotteries for three days in a row this week. 

In the first phase, on Wednesday, permits was allotted to 491 quake survivors from Kavrepalanchwok, Nuwakot and Ramechhap districts. Likewise, 513 quake survivors from Dolakha, Sindhuli and Sindupalchok districts received permits on Thursday while 496 taxi operating permits were distributed to survivors from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Makawanpur, Dhading, Okhaldhunga, Gorkha and Rasuwa districts on Friday. 

“The lottery was conducted in transparent manner,” said Rup Narayan Bhattarai Director General at DoTM , adding that the event was broadcasted live through television and radio. 

When asked about the newly issued permits and the decision by Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) to not allow 1,500 additional taxis in the Valley, Bhattarai said, “The KMC doesn’t have the right to make decision in this regard. Moreover, the KMC sent a letter to us stating that they would request authorities of respective districts to allow operating taxis.” 

Moreover, Bhattarai added that Kathmandu needs to add more public vehicles 

as there are only 900,000 private and public vehicles including two-wheelers for around 8 million people in Kathmandu. “We have already initiated meetings with concerned ministries and agencies for extending road network as it hasn’t 

succeeded in easing traffic pressure in Kathmandu,” Bhattarai said. 

According to the DoTM, there are currently 8,500 taxis on the streets of the Kathmandu Valley including the 2,850 new taxi cabs registered last year. 

There were 5,650 taxis in the Capital as of mid-2015. The government opened registrations for new taxi cabs in 2015 for the first time in 15 years. The Ministry of Transportation and Physical Infrastructure has repeatedly planned to issue permits for new taxis in Kathmandu, but it had to back down following strong opposition from taxi entrepreneurs and their associations.

Among the 2,850 new taxi permits issued last year, 1,850 permits were provided to regular applicants while 500 permits were set aside for earthquake survivors and affected families. 

Another 500 permits were allotted to companies willing to operate deluxe and super deluxe taxis.

As per DoTM statistics, there were 7,500 taxis in Kathmandu in 2000 when the Valley’s population was estimated at 1.3 million. 

Published: 24-06-2017 08:21

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