Birtamode-Taplejung cargo fare hiked

- Aananda Gautam, TAPLEJUNG

Sep 17, 2018-

Transport entrepreneurs have unilaterally hiked the cargo fare by up to 50 percent on the Birtamode-Taplejung route in the eastern region. This is expected to hit the wallets’ of common people as the cost of basic items will skyrocket ahead of the Dashain festival.

Transport entrepreneurs said that they were not in a position to absorb the diesel price hike and decided to pass on the cost to customers.

The entrepreneurs have also hiked the cargo fare by up to 65 percent on the Birtamode-Dovan route.

Traders said that they had been paying Rs3 per kg for goods transported by trucks on the Birtamode-Fungling route which now costs Rs4.50 per kg. Cargo charge on the Birtamode-Dovan route has been increased to Rs5 from Rs3 a kilo.  Dovan is one of the commercial hubs serving four rural municipalities—Mikwakhola, Meringden, Maiwakhola and Aaathrai Tribeni—in the eastern mountain region.  Ram Karki, general secretary of the District Chamber of Commerce, said the excessive hike in transport fares could affect consumers as the price of household goods would become dearer. “The transport entrepreneurs have increased freight costs without consulting the District Chamber of Commerce. Narayan Thapa, vice president of the District Chamber of Commerce, said that the fare has been hiked ahead of the upcoming Dashain festival. The rate hike by transport entrepreneurs comes at a time when the government had finally eliminated transport cartels.

As the cost of goods has increased, traders based in Dovan have stopped taking consignment for the past few days. They have been demanding an immediate roll back of the decision.  

Shiva Poudel, former general secretary of the Birtamode-based Federation of Truck Entrepreneurs Association, said they were ignorant about the matter. Poudel explained that transporters were facing financial difficulties ferrying goods to Taplejung at the previous fare of Rs3 per kg.

According to transport entrepreneurs, a truck with six-wheels travelling on the Mechi Highway consumes 300 litres of diesel per trip.

The diesel price is Rs103.50 per litre. At this price, a truck consumes fuel worth Rs31,000 per trip. Considering other costs such as labour and logistics, transport entrepreneurs are unable to survive if the freight cost was not revised, said Poudel.

Published: 17-09-2018 07:57

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