Uncertainty looms over resumption of long-haul public transport

The Department of Transport Management and public transport entrepreneurs are at odds regarding the safety standards although the government has announced resuming of the long-haul public transport from August 17.
Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneur General Secretary Saroj Sitaula said that although they were ready to run long and medium distance public transport, they are still unaware of the safety measures to be adopted.
“We are preparing to operate vehicles but what about the safety protocols?”, he questioned, adding that the standards fixed for the short route will not be appropriate for the long-haul transport.
He said that the use of masks and sanitizers was common and that a firm decision should be taken on passenger management. Sitaula further that it has not been mentioned whether passengers could be accommodated in all the seats or not on long-distance travel.
“Coronavirus infection continues to spread and it is unclear whether long-distance vehicles will operate in some districts when they are sealed, but entrepreneurs are ready to operate,” Sitaula added.
The Department of Transport Management, on the other hand, has stated that the decision will be implemented from August 17.
The department said that the long-distance vehicles should also implement the government’s decision and announced safety measures.
“As far as safety is concerned, the standards set by the government should be followed, mask sanitizer is mandatory, fever should be measured and passengers should be kept by maintaining social distance,” Director-General of theDepartment Gogan Bahadur Hamal said.
However, Secretary Sitaula said that there was no discussion on safety measures for long-distance transport.

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