Friday, June 23, 2017

Earthquake survivors allotted 1,500 cab licences

The government has distributed some 1 ,500 licences for operating taxicab – to the survivors of April 2015 Gorkha earthquake – through lotteries in the last three days till today.
The Department of Transportation Management has in the first phase, on Wednesday, allotted licences 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 today.
The departments' director general Rup Narayan Bhattarai said that the lottery was conducted in transparent manner. "The event was live broadcast through television and radio."
However, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is not letting the new taxicab to ply on Kathmandu roads as the metropolis is over crowded also due to lack of expansion of road network.
"The KMC doesn't have the right to make decision in this regard," Bhattarai said, adding that the KMC has sent a letter to the department stating that they would request authorities of respective districts to allow operating taxis.
But the other districts, unlike Kathmandu, have not halted the permits of taxicab.
According to the department, there are currently 8,500 taxis – including the 2,850 new taxi cabs registered last year – on the streets of the Kathmandu Valley. There were 5,650 taxis in the capital as of mid-2015. The government had opened registrations for new taxi cabs in 2015 for the first time in 15 years.
Among the 2,850 new taxi permits issued last year, some 1,850 permits were provided to regular applicants, while 500 permits were set aside for earthquake survivors and affected families. Remaining 500 permits were allotted to companies willing to operate deluxe and super deluxe taxis.
According to the department, there were some 7,500 taxis in Kathmandu in 2000 when the valley’s population was estimated at 1.3 million. However, the valley 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 at present.

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