Transportation service operators have started submitting their vehicle keys to banks, stating that they are not in a position to repay loans and interest at the moment as public transportation service has come to a grinding halt for almost four months now.

The Prithivi Highway Bus Operators Association, representing various transport entrepreneurs, submitted vehicle keys to different banks yesterday. The Association submitted vehicle keys of 30 buses to NMB Bank, 25 keys to Muktinath Bikas Bank, 17 keys to Garima Bank and 18 vehicle keys to Prime Bank in Pokhara.

Chairperson of the Association, Yogendra Bahadur KC, said they were compelled to hand over vehicle keys as banks were constantly pressuring transporters to clear their loan installments and interest while the government had become indifferent in addressing the concerns raised by public transport operators.

“The repeated notices to pay the installments were causing us mental torture,” KC said adding, “We were left with no option but to turn in our keys.” A total of 1,400 vehicles under the company are parked since the lockdown.

While the officials at the Department of Transport Management have been saying that they are preparing a set of guidelines to resume the public transport service, there has been no clear plan on the matter yet.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Prithvi Highway Bus Operators’ Company, said bus operators will continue to hand over the keys of their vehicles if their demand is not addressed.