Travellers suffer due to transportation syndicate

Although various transport associations active on recently-opened Dharan-Chatara-Gaighat road have agreed to end syndicate, the implementation of the deal is likely to be difficult.

 

 

The road, opened a few months ago after the completion of a bridge on the Saptakoshi River, has shortened the distance from Dharan to Gaighat to just 50km. But until recently, passengers had to change three vehicles to reach Gaighat from Dharan, thanks to transportation syndicate.

 

The system has been scrapped for now with the intervention from local government authorities. The agreement was reached after buses operating on the road agreed not to carry local passengers. Seven vehicles operate daily on this route.

 

 

However, locals and travellers are doubtful about effective implementation of the agreement, with Sunsari Transportation Entrepreneurs Association recently obstructing vehicular movements on the pretext the buses carried local passengers. “At a time when vehicles operating on Dharan-Chatara route are not getting passengers, how can the buses on Dharan-Gaighat route carry local passengers,” said Suresh Shrestha, secretary of the association.

 

The dispute, however, has been resolved after buses operating on Dharan-Gaighat agreed to carry passengers from Bhanu Chwok, Dharan, but not from Chatara. 

 

 

“What do we do when we remain unable to operate vehicles for four months? Initially we did not react as it is a new route. But as the situation did not turn good, we had to off-load passengers to make some profits,” Shrestha said.

 

A number of associations like Sunsari Transportation Entrepreneurs Association, Dharan, Eastern Nepal Transportation Entrepreneurs Association and Himali Transportation Association are active on this route.

 

According to Anil Poudel, inspector at Chakraghatti Area Police office, long route buses were carrying local passengers, rendering local vehicles empty. “This is why the dispute ensued.”

Authorities say people have been forced to travel in several vehicles on a single route due to mismanagement of routes along the Mid-hill Highway.