First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Public transportation services that had been halted for the last six months due to the coronavirus pandemic have resumed from today.
Addressing the demand of the public vehicle transporters to allow resumption of public transportation, the Cabinet meeting on Monday had decided to open all types of public transport from today (long-, medium- and short-distance).
However, the public transportation service providers have to follow all health safety measures. As per the safety guidelines, the driver and helper of the concerned vehicle along with the passengers must mandatorily wear face mask and use hand sanitizer while travelling.Likewise, the vehicle operators need to sanitize their vehicles on a regular basis and arrange for sanitizer at the entrance of their vehicles.
Moreover, the vehicle owners are allowed to carry only half the number of passengers that the vehicle can accommodate so as to maintain social distance. As a result, vehicle operators have been allowed to increase the fares by 50 per cent from the existing rates, said Bhim Jwala Rai, president of the Independent Transport Workers’ Association of Nepal.
A joint workforce of the Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs has also issued a statement appealing to all drivers, helpers and passengers to adopt necessary health safety protocols while travelling.
According to Rai, the workforce on Wednesday also proposed to the minister of physical infrastructure and transport to specify the names of hotels and restaurants in particular places where passengers travelling long distances can be allowed to have their meals. Similarly, they have also urged the government to regularly monitor whether safety protocols are being followed in the bus parks.
Although the lockdown was lifted from July 21, operation of inter-district public transport had still been prohibited until today.
Domestic airlines refuse to operate flights with 50 percent passengers Meanwhile, the Airline Operators Association of Nepal on the other hand has decided not to operate domestic flight services until it is able to provide service at full capacity.
Disagreeing with the government’s decision to fly with only 50 percent passengers, the association on Wednesday in a discussion at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation urged the government to reconsider its decision and allow airline operators to resume flights with full seating capacity.
The association has stated that if airlines are allowed to carry only 50 percent passengers then they will be compelled to hike the airfare. However, since everybody has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic people will not be able to afford the expensive airfare. Hence, there is no justification in operating flights with only 50 percent passengers as the operating cost is going to be high, the association added.
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