POKHARA, April 19: Breaking the practice of decades-old syndicate system, a new transport committee, which is soon coming into existence in Pokhara, has pledged to roll out new buses to cover long-distance routes at affordable fare.
Currently, buses operating in Pokhara do not ply on long routes as they operate under syndicates who have monopoly over setting bus routes.
As a result, someone commuting from Lakeside to Prithivi Narayan Campus has to change buses at two different locations to reach the destination. Likewise, people traveling from Chorepatan to Mahendra Cave have to change buses at three different locations, bringing the total fare to Rs 45.
All this is expected to come to an end once Free City Bus Entrepreneurs Committee Kaski (FCBECK), which applied for operating license at the district administration office (DAO) on Wednesday, begins its operations.
Suresh Gurung, president of the FCBECK, said the association is planning to roll out 75 new buses.
“These buses will provide better services and charge reasonable fares. Commuters won´t have to change buses to reach their destination even while traveling on a longer route,” Gurung said.
Chet Nath Bhattarai, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kaski, has already directed concerned officials to initiate necessary process to register FCBECK. The association has already submitted recommendations of the district development committee (DDC) and sub-metropolitan office for registration. However, it is yet to submit police report on conduct of its members.
Interestingly, in a tacit approval to the behavior of transport syndicates in Pokhara, a meeting held under the coordination of Bhattarai around two weeks ago had decided not to add any new buses in Pokhara.
The decision was widely criticized by local business community and members of civil society. Later, the home ministry had sought clarification from Bhattarai and directed him not to implement the decision. Even Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari called the CDO Bhattarai and asked him to create an environment of level playing field for all entrepreneurs.