Indian transport operators ‘fleecing’ Nepali migrantsNepali migrant workers returning home from India, via Banbasa town in Uttarakhand state, have accused the Indian transport operators of charging exorbitant fares.
Nepali migrant workers returning home from India, via Banbasa town in Uttarakhand state, have accused the Indian transport operators of charging exorbitant fares.
They claimed that magic van operators in Banbasa were openly fleecing Nepali passengers ahead of the Dashain festival, when there is a huge influx of Nepali migrant workers from different parts of India, travelling to Nepal through Gaddachauki border point in Kanchanpur.
Narendra Shahi, a migrant worker who hails from Binayak Municipality in Achham district, said he and 11 other fellow travellers were made to pay more than the actual fare to get to Gaddachauki from Banbasa on a magic van last Friday.
“The van driver charged 3,600 Indian rupees from 12 passengers. Each of us were made to pay an additional 200 rupees. The driver claimed it was for customs check,” Shahi said.
The going fare from Banbasa to Bhimdatta on a magic van, which is a seven-seater people carrier, is IRs 20 while one can also travel on a motorcycle for IRs 40.
Padamraj Kandel of Surkhet, who also journeyed through Banbasa route to reach Bhimdatta along with Shahi and other Nepali passengers, said their driver did not even take them to their actual destination.
“We were overcharged and then made to get off the van halfway or so to our journey,” he said.
Helpless, the travelling companions obliged to their driver’s demand. But after they crossed the border, they made the point of reporting the incident to Nepal Police at the Gaddachauki Area Police Office.
Sub Inspector Raghunath Bhandari listened to the case before accompanying the returnee migrant workers to an Indian police station across the border.
The Indian police recovered IRs 1,200 from the driver, and he was also made fined IRs 1,000.
“Fleecing passengers during festival season is common on both sides of the border, but most cases go unreported,” Sub Inspector Bhandari said.
Security heightened in border areas
BANKE: Security has been heightened along the Nepalgunj border area, considering the possibility of looting incidents with the arrival of Nepali migrant workers from India for the Dashain festival.
The Indian authorities in Rupaidihia have also assured the Nepali security agency to cooperate in border security surveillance, said Banke’s Chief District Officer Ramesh KC. (PR)