No one can deny that transportation is a basic human need. It is the movement of people and goods from one place to another that supports human survival and societal interaction.
Transport enables the people for different purposes like going for daily work, visiting the hospitals and meeting relatives etc.
The lack of adequate transport not only physically insolates the poor people but also continues to entrap them in poverty.
It does not a rocket scientist to say that the transport infrastructure is a cornerstone for socio-economic development.
With less than one percent of the population owning their own four-wheel vehicles, the public transport is the most widely used mode of mobility in the country. But, unfortunately, the state of public transport is bleak, to say the least.
This anomaly can be attributed to the complete sloppiness with which the government is handling this sector.
In most of the other countries around the world, the government tends to invest substantially in the public transportation. Nevertheless, the case in Nepal is quite different.
It is evident with the poor performance of the the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway, the one and only railway of the country, and the humiliating closure of the Kathmandu-Bhaktapur trolley bus service.
Barring aside the resumption of the Sajha Yatayat a year back, the government has long been totally flippant towards investing resources in enhancing the transport sector. It is therefore not surprising to see the sector in the soup.
The development of country’s transportation sector is severely dogged by lack of infrastructure.
The government does allocate a sizable portion of the national budget every year in the name of upgrading the public transport infrastructure. Frustratingly, most of the capital freezes up.
The alarmingly high rate of road accidents has also much to do with the poor road infrastructure and lax safety rules.
In the last five/six months alone, more than 600 people have lost their lives while travelling on Nepali roads. It is estimated that an average of 1,800 are killed every year.
The pathetic state of the transport can also be gleaned from the burgeoning syndicate system.
Such system continues to rare its ugly head even though it has already been four years that the Supreme Court outlawed it.
Several rent-seeking trade unions backed by their political parties in propping up syndicates in both passenger and goods transport. Such loathsome practice is also responsible for hundreds of entirely preventable deaths every year.
The private sector enjoying unrestricted monopoly over the public transport,
And, it has forced the travellers to confront with unavailability of tickets, black-marketing and inefficiently unreliable services. This clearly underlines the urgency of the needed intervention on the part of the government.