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Mahanagar bus vandalised

Mahanagar Yatayat expects to address the problem of traffic congestion with its new bus fleet. Image Copyright: The Kathmansu Post

Kathmandu, March 15, 2016: A Mahanagar Yatayat bus was vandalised at Balkhu in the Capital on Monday, a day after the private transport operator launched the 32-seat vehicles aimed at “easing the traffic flow” along the 27-km Ring Road.

A group of vandals hurled a stone at the running bus (Ba 4 Kha 106). But nobody was hurt in the incident.

According to Narayan Prasad Subedi, an assistant on the bus, said that two window panes had been broken. “A group of people threw stones and fled the scene as the bus was about to stop,” said Subedi.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident. They said owners of micro and minibuses, who are against increasing big vehicles on the Ring Road, might have attacked the bus. “We are more watchful now to ensure it does not happen again too,” said SP Pradhyumna Karki of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Teku.

The bus entrepreneurs in the Valley also run a syndicate, which operate their vehicles squeezing passengers.

Earlier, owners of micro and mini buses had opposed the idea of plying big buses when it was brought forth a decade ago, fearing that vehicles with a greater passenger capacity would eat into their income. Sajha Yatayat, which resumed its service with 16 new coaches two years ago, had to struggle for routes in the Capital.

The new buses offer passengers facilities like Wi-fi, TV for free. The company has also announced that it would launch a smartphone app that allows people to trace the location of the nearest bus–the first of its kind in the country. “We just wanted to give better facilities to passengers. Is this the reason why we are targeted?” asked Santosh Khatiwada, vice-chairman of Mahanagar Yatayat Pvt Ltd. But he vows vows to continue service.

“We are not intimidated. The public support is all that counts and I believe we have that,” he said, adding that they had requested the local administration for security.