The Himalayan Times, 21 June 2017
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) is finally holding a lucky draw on Wednesday to issue taxi permits to 1,500 earthquake-affected people of the 14 worst-hit districts.
As the department had received nearly 150,000 applications from earthquake victims for just 1,500 new taxi permits, DoTM officials informed that the lucky draw will be held for three consecutive days starting Wednesday at the Chyasal Football Ground in Lalitpur.
“We have divided 14 worst quake-hit districts into three categories and a lucky draw will be held for each category over the three days,” said Tok Raj Pandey, spokesperson for DoTM, adding that the lucky draw will be fair and transparent as it will be carried out in front of the mass and also will be telecast.
The DoTM will hold the lucky draw for Kavrepalanchowk, Nuwakot and Ramechhap on Wednesday and will distribute altogether 491 taxi permits to earthquake victims in these districts — 201 to earthquake victims of Kavrepalanchowk, 125 taxi permits to quake victims of Nuwakot and 165 permits to victims of Ramechhap.
Similarly, lucky draw for taxi permits for earthquake victims of Dolakha, Sindhuli and Sindhupalchowk will be held on Thursday. DoTM is distributing 513 taxi permits to the quake victims of these three districts — 214 taxi permits to eligible quake victims of Dolakha, 46 permits to victims of Sindhuli and 253 to quake-survivors of Sindhupalchowk.
Likewise, lucky draw event for applications from quake victims from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Makawanpur, Dhading, Okhaldhunga, Rasuwa and Gorkha will be held on Friday. DoTM will issue a total of 496 taxi permits to earthquake victims of these districts, with earthquake victims of Dhading to receive the highest number of taxi permits (117) and quake victims of Okhaldhunga and Rasuwa to receive the least taxi permits (30 each).
The government had decided to issue 1,500 new taxi permits to earthquake victims to generate livelihood opportunities for them. However, the process was delayed as it received an overwhelming number of applications. The department had received a total of 25,000 applications for taxi permits from quake survivors of Sindhupalchowk district alone.
As per DoTM, around 8,000 taxis are plying in Kathmandu Valley at present. “It is also necessary to issue new permits to taxis to ease public transportation in the Valley,” Pandey said.