Sajha buses — a popular public transport at one time — is all set to ply the roads of Kathmandu from Sunday. Its buses will ply in two routes in Kathmandu from April 14, said manager of Sajha Cooperative Yatayat Mahendra Raj Pandey.
Sajha was a popular public transport in Kathmandu valley and across the country when it was launched in 1961-62. It used to provide services to people through 200 buses before 1990. But constant political intervention in its management gradually affected Sajha and its services were halted in 2006-07.
The rebirth of Sajha as a cooperative took place in 2012 and a decision was made to restart the bus service again. "We decided to buy 16 buses to start services in Kathmandu valley," said Pandey, adding that the buses will ply in two routes — Satdobato-Airport-Gaushala-Kamalpokhari-Ratnapark and Kalanki-Tripureshwor-Kalanki.
Sajha Cooperative has bought the 16 buses from Tata Motors, India, at Rs 60 million. The buses have been coloured green and have a 54-seat capacity — highest passenger capacity among buses plying in Kathmandu.
The Sajha management has fixed a minimum fare of Rs 15 and a maximum fare of Rs 20 for the routes. "We will not charge more than the government prescribed rate," said Pandey. The buses have front and rear doors that are controlled by the driver. The rear door is to enter the bus and the front door to exit, he added.The government has 70 per cent share in Sajha Cooperative. Sajha has appointed 80 staff — 50 drivers and helpers and 30 for management and administration purposes.