KATHMANDU, Nepal– It is barely five in the morning at Gongabu Bus Park. Twenty two year old Rakshya Regmi stands close to a ticket counter, hoping to somehow manage a bus ticket to Walling in western province of Nepal. She wishes to visit her hometown to observe Dashain with her family, which she has been doing annually. However, this year, Regmi may not get the bus ticket. Rumour has it that all the tickets have been sold out.
Another Ram Paudel, wearing a deserted look also seems in the queue to get ticket to Pokhara. Paudel, unlike Rakshya, hopes that he will get the ticket if he waited longer.
They are not the only two waiting grim-faced for a lucky turn of events. Many people have been visiting the ticket counters at Bus Park, enquiring if there are any seats available.
The advance booking system launched in view of the approaching Dashain festival has left hundreds of passengers worried that they will be unable to visit their families this year.
According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the tickets were already booked within a week from the day the booking started on August 10.
Till date, more than 6,20,930 tickets have been booked for September 25 to October 2, the day before Dashain.
The Department Of Transport Management (DoTM) estimates that nearly 2 million people are expected to leave Kathmandu valley — Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts — for Dashain, according to transporters.
About 20,000 buses, minibuses and microbuses have been providing services since Ghatasthapana, the first day of the Dashain.