Transporters fleece Dashain travellers

  • Fuel Crisis
- MADHAV ARYAL, Aman Koirala, AAGANDHAR TIWARI, SARLAHI/ PALPA/ PARBAT

Oct 26, 2015-Tilisara Thapa Magar of Chitungdhara in Palpa waited for three hours at Tansen Bus Park to board a passenger bus to reach Butwal on Sunday. As no buses arrived there, she approached a jeep driver, who demanded her Rs 700 to reach her destination. Regular fair for the route is just Rs 100.

Transport entrepreneurs have been bargaining openly with passengers like Tilisara in the district headquarters right in front of District Traffic Office.

Dul Bahadur Kunwar, district chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, said transport entrepreneurs have been charging exorbitant fare citing fuel crisis. “Public transportation has become too expensive during the festival season,” he said. Mahesh Timilsena, another local, said they are compelled to travel paying expensive fare. “We are forced to do so because we cannot walk to our destination,” he said.

Traffic Police chief Prabin Acharya, said they have been unable to curb such anomalies caused by fuel shortage.

Entrepreneurs said they increased fares in long and short routes as they are compelled to pay hefty sum for fuel smuggled from India.

They said they had to pay Rs 200, which is more than twice the regular price, for diesel. Deepak Shrestha, a transport entrepreneur from Sarlahi, said they have no any option other than increasing transport fare. “We are compelled to charge more as we pay more money to purchase fuel,” he said. Entrepreneurs said smugglers are openly selling fuel in the East-West Highway. They have been charging Rs 200 for one litre of diesel and Rs 250 for petrol. Raj Kumar Mainali, another transport entrepreneur in Sarlahi, said they are providing services purchasing fuels from smugglers. “If transport service is not available, people who came to villages to celebrate Dashain will be stranded,” he said.

Meanwhile, people in Parbat are also compelled to exorbitant fare even though they have to travel on the roof of buses.

Tilak Chhetri of Pangrang in the district said he paid Rs 350 to reach Kushma from Khanigaun, sitting on the roof of a bus. “We used to pay Rs 100 per person,” he said.

Buses and jeeps have been carrying passengers on roofs despite increasing transport fare. Traffic Police chief of Parbat, Bikash Timilsina, said they cannot take legal actions against transport entrepreneur as they reach Birgunj to purchase oil paying Rs 250 per litre.

Published: 26-10-2015 09:03

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