Traffic police step up action against transporters overcharging passengersUntil Wednesday, police have taken action against 69 vehicles for misusing travel passes and overcharging passengers.
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has stepped up vigilance in the Valley as the number of vehicles on the roads have increased with further easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Prohibitory orders that have been in place in the three districts of Kathmandu Valley since April 29 were extended by a week starting Tuesday with further easing of restrictions including introduction of odd-even number plate rule for public transport vehicles.
The authorities said public buses with seating capacity of over 25 passengers can operate from Tuesday.
Over the past few weeks, the authorities have been gradually easing the lockdown as Covid-19 cases are slowing down. Last week, the authorities had allowed private vehicles on an odd-even basis.
Traffic police officials said they have increased vigilance to curb illegal activities like transporters overcharging passengers.
Figures provided by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division show that since the introduction of the prohibitory orders they have taken action against 69 vehicles for carrying passengers by misusing the travel pass issued by the District Administration Office and for charging passengers exorbitant fares.
“We took action after vehicles like Bolero and Scorpio [Indian car brands] with private number plates were found carrying passengers by misusing their travel passes and charging passengers exorbitant fares,” said Deputy Superintendent Sunil Shah, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.
For instance, the traffic police on Tuesday arrested 29-year-old Rakesh Rasaili for carrying passengers in a private vehicle (BA 16 CHA 2184).
According to Police, Rasaili was charging Rs3,000 per passenger for a trip to Udayapur from Kathmandu. On the same day, police arrested another person named Janak Bahadur Ghimire, who had charged passengers Rs5,000 per head for a journey to Solukhumbu from Kathmandu.
According to Shah, of the total 69 vehicles facing action, sixteen were detained on Tuesday and Wednesday alone.
Along with Rasaili and Ghimire the officials arrested Santosh Damai, 35, Kushal Ram Basnet, 38, Gim Bahadur Gaha Magar, 28, of Dang, Dipnarayan Thapa, 36, of Rupandehi, Shivlal Ghimire, 44, of Kapilvastu and Yuvraj Dhakal, 31, of Morang.
“The division has deployed a special plainclothes team for inspection after receiving several complaints of overcharging by transporters,” said Shah.
Officials have also asked the members of the public to file complaints of overcharging by dialing 100 or 103.
Meanwhile, experts still fear that the threat of Covid-19 is not over yet, and a third wave could hit the country anytime soon. They have warned that resumption of public transport and movement could lead to rising infections.
As of Thursday, the nationwide Covid-19 infection tally stood at 640, 662. Covid-19 has so far claimed 9,145 lives across the country.