Seeing its campaign to ensure reservation of seats for women, elderly and physically disabled passengers in microbuses bear fruit, the traffic police have decided to intensify the monitoring of all public vehicles to check whether they have reserved seats for the intended passengers.
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) launched the drive against all kinds of public vehicles, including buses plying in the Kathmandu valley, for the first time from Tuesday. In the first two days alone, the MTPD fined Rs 200 each to 1,076 vehicles.
The MTPD has deployed as many as 32 teams of traffic police personnel across the valley just to monitor public vehicles. On Wednesday, the MTPD monitored around 2,300 vehicles, especially large buses.
The Motor Vehicles and Transport Management Act, 1993, has made it mandatory to reserve three seats for women and one for disabled in microbuses, and six seats for women and two seats for the disabled in larger public buses.
Similarly, the government has made it mandatory for public vehicles to set aside two seats for the elderly who are above the age of 60. However, public transport entrepreneurs have yet to reserve seats for elderly.
“We found that majority of the drivers and conductors were aware of the reservation of seats in public vehicles, but did nothing to make the reserved seats available to the intended passengers,” said SP Basanta Raj Panta, spokesperson of the MTPD.
He said the traffic police have asked drivers and conductors to strictly implement all legal provisions. Likewise, the traffic police have also sensitizing people to claim the seats they are entitled to in public vehicles.
“On the routes, where we took actions against microbuses, we have found that women passengers have started to claim the seats reserved for them,” said he.