Revised transport fares yet to be implementedTwo weeks after the government reduced public transportation fares, vehicles in the Valley are still charging previous rates to passengers.
Two weeks after the government reduced public transportation fares, vehicles in the Valley are still charging previous rates to passengers.
The government and transport entrepreneurs had revised fares on September 11 in line with fall in gasoline prices. In the deal, it was also agreed that effective implementation will be overseen by both parties. The minimum fare on city routes had been cut by Rs1 to Rs13 for a four-kilometre journey but passengers say they are still paying Rs15.
The Department of Transport Management said it has reprimanded around 400 vehicles in Kathmandu till Wednesday for overcharging. “In our inspection, several vehicles were found to be defying the new fare rates. For example, some vehicles were charging Rs18 for the four-kilometre distance from Jawlakhel to New Baneshwor,” DoTM’s Monitoring Section chief Basanta Adhikari said.
Public vehicles found overcharging passengers are fined Rs5,000 and bill book of the vehicle and the driver’s licence are seized. However, the Department said most vehicles are undeterred as their transport unions pay the fine and reclaim the seized documents for them. Moreover, most transport unions have not provided revised fare list to vehicles and vehicle operators cite this as an excuse.
A monitoring team was formed to take action against non-compliance with the reduced fare as experienced in the past. The team includes representatives from the DoTM, Transport Management Office, traffic police, transport unions and consumer rights groups. However, conductors keep charging passengers at the old rate on the pretext of not having change. The DoTM has received over 500 complaints till date regarding vehicle fares. “Just this morning, I paid the conductor Rs15 for travelling from Pepsicola to Jadibuti but he refused giving me Rs2 back saying rates had not fallen,” Deepak Dhakal of Kandaghari complained. “On other days, they say they do not have change.” In wake of these complaints, the DoTM said it will take help from the traffic police to better implement the revised fares.