Taxis fleece passengersTaxis fleece passengers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 2, 2016-Ninety percent taxis operating in the Valley have been found charging passengers as much as four times the usual fare since they refuse to use the meter.

After growing complaints, the Department of Transport Management conducted a field inspection on Tuesday. “We monitored taxicabs for an hour at Minbhawan and Chabahil and found most of them carrying passengers without turning on their taximeter,” said Director Basanta Adhikari. “Ninety percent of them were found to charge a pre-agreed fare which was three to four times the usual charge.”

There are 7,500 registered taxicabs in the Valley. The fare fixed by the authorities is Rs36 per km. But most taxi drivers refuse to use the meter arguing that they do not get petrol from gas stations easily and are compelled to buy fuel in the black market.

“I cannot get petrol from pumps even after queuing for a week. Fuel in the black market costs thrice the normal rate,” said Kumar Dhakal of Khatechaur in Kavre district, who drives a taxi around Kathmandu. “The government should ensure smooth supply of fuel before getting after us.”

The department booked 10 taxi drivers on Tuesday while others were simply warned not to repeat their offence. The fine for overcharging ranges from Rs1,000 to Rs5,000. The officials found taxis charging Rs300 for a ride from Babarmahal to Koteshwor, which should not amount to even Rs100 on meter.

“We have already informed the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division and taxi entrepreneurs to stop the malpractice,” said Adhikari. He also urged the people to report incidences of overcharging to traffic police.

Published: 02-03-2016 08:18

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