Bus operators fleecing passengers

  • Festive rush
  • Metropolitan Traffic Police Division urges all to lodge complaints if they are asked to pay more for tickets
- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Sep 19, 2017-

With the Dashain festival just round the corner, bus parks these days are packed with people leaving the Capital for their hometowns.

Despite the government fixing the transport fares, passengers have complained about being cheated by transport operators.

Prakash Paudel, 30, who arrived in Kathmandu from Malaysia on Sunday, booked two tickets for his hometown Basantapur in Tehrathum district. Though the government-fixed fare for the 630-km distance is Rs 1,202,  Miteri Yatyat has charged him Rs 1,550.

“I paid Rs 3,100 for two seats,” said Paudel. “I am meeting my family and relatives after a long gap. I paid the money without bargaining,” he added, expressing helplessness. “The hotel where I was staying after landing in Kathmandu had managed the ticket.”

Similar is the case with Ram Krishna Prasain.

Prasain, who has bought tickets for Biratngar for September, a day after Ghatasthapana, said he paid Rs 1,300 even though the government has fixed the fare at Rs 984. “It is difficult to get the ticket. I did not want to run into hassle by lodging a complaint,” he said.

According to traffic police, transport operators have been found to be taking advantage of the festival rush to fleece passengers.

The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) said it has taken action against 35 bus operators in the past one week for overcharging passengers.

“We take immediate action against those who are found cheating passengers,” said Sarbendra Khanal, chief of the MTPD. “But for us to take action, people also should help; they must lodge complaints instead of paying whatever amount the bus operators are demanding.”

The government in January last year had fixed bus fare based on different indicators including fuel.

The decision has been completely implemented. And during the festive season, passengers are often cheated by bus operators.

In Paudel’s case, Vickey Gurung of Miteri Yatayat and Auto Pvt Ltd, he was charged Rs 1,550 as his seat was booked in an air-conditioned “deluxe bus”. “How can we operate air-conditioned deluxe buses with government-fixed fare?” questioned Gurung.

Advance bus ticket booking for the Dashain festival opened on Tuesday.

The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) says around 2 million people are expected to leave the Valley for the festival.

Published: 19-09-2017 08:29

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