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Travellers stranded by transport strike in mid-western region

- BHIM BAHADUR SINGH, JAJARKOT
Travellers in Nepalgunj, Kohalpur, Chinchu, Surkhet and Jajarkot Khalanga have been grounded as there is no public transportation to their destinations

Aug 8, 2016-Bus services between Nepalgunj and Jajarkot in the mid-western region have been halted for five days leaving thousands of travellers stranded after transport companies went on strike demanding a hike in fares.

Travellers in Nepalgunj, Kohalpur, Chinchu, Surkhet and Jajarkot Khalanga have been grounded as there is no public transportation to their destinations. Striking transporters have even forced private vehicles off the roads.

The transportation companies want to jack up fares by at least 20 percent. The local administration has shown no concern despite the extreme hardship caused to travellers, complained residents. Neither the Department of Transport Management nor the administration offices of the affected districts have made a move to solve the problem.

The authorities haven’t called the agitating transporters for talks or pressured them to resume services. According to locals, they are starting to face shortages of daily essential commodities due to the inaction of the concerned authorities.

“The authorities are not willing to increase the fare,” said local Lila Bahadur Shah. “The transporters have said that they will resume services if they are allowed to increase their ticket prices by 20 percent.”

Two weeks ago, the department had fixed public transportation fares at Rs2.50 per kilometre and issued permanent route permits accordingly.

As per the new tariff, the fare on the Khalanga-Nepalgunj route is Rs464. Likewise, the price of a ticket on the Khalanga-Kathmandu route is Rs1,366. Earlier, transporters had been charging Rs1,000 and Rs2,000 respectively.

The department has dispatched circulars to the district administration offices of Surkhet, Jajarkot and Salyan to enforce the new fares strictly. Vehicles belonging to around nine transport associations operate on these routes.

Published: 08-08-2016 08:22

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