Diners found overcharging travellers during Dashain

- PAWAN YADAV, Bharatpur
Diners found overcharging travellers during Dashain

Oct 7, 2014-

Hotels and restaurants operating along the highways have been found to be overcharging bus travellers during the Dashain festival rush.

A monitoring team headed by the District Administration Office (DAO), Chitwan has uncovered a number of cases of passengers being cheated. The squad had inspected diners in the Ramnagar, Jugedi and Simaltal areas on the Narayagadh-Mugling stretch. During the inspection, the team found that the prices charged were more than the rates fixed by the Hotel Entrepreneurs’ Association, Chitwan. It had been agreed that the price list set by the association would be applied from September 17.

“But hotel entrepreneurs have not been displaying the price list fixed by the association and have been overcharging their customers,” said Kamal Acharya, administrative officer at the DAO, Chitwan.

During a joint meeting of stakeholders and DAO officials, hotel entrepreneurs had agreed to fix food prices. “We will start the process to take action against them,” Acharya said.

Hoteliers have been charging more than Rs 150 for a vegetarian rice set and up to Rs 300 for a non-vegetarian rice set, according to the monitoring team.

Chop Narayan Khanal, who was travelling to Kathmandu from Butwal, said that they were compelled to pay the rates set by the hoteliers themselves.

“There is no menu and we don’t have any option but to pay what they say due to hunger,” he said. “The driver stops the bus for lunch where he chooses.”   

Meanwhile, hoteliers have complained that the prices fixed were unfair to some of them.

“The team forcefully sets the prices due to which we had to suffer losses,” said Yadav Khanal, proprietor of Hotel Highway Food Mart. “We serve better quality food and provide better service than other hotels, so we can’t run our hotel with the prices set by them.” He added that they were providing free food to bus drivers and their helpers besides paying them a commission.

Imandu Baral, president of the Hotel Association of Chitwan, said that the rates had been fixed with the agreement of all the hoteliers. “If the allowance being paid to drivers can be stopped, hoteliers could provide a set of vegetarian rice for Rs 100,” he said.

“We will be monitoring to stop the malpractice.” Bishnu Prasad Bhusal, president of the Consumers Protection Forum Chitwan, said that the government should take action against the wrongdoers.

Published: 08-10-2014 10:00

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