Public transport to remain shut in Dhading, entrepreneurs demand increase in fares
July 20, 2021 05:12 PM NPT
DHADING, July 20: Transport entrepreneurs in Dhading have stopped providing public transport services after they were fined by the administration for increasing the fare by 28 percent.
Although the central government had increased the fares of long distance public transport from one province to another, the decision was not meant for vehicles operating within the same province.
Earlier, the one way fare from Dhading to Kathmandu cost Rs 187 per person. The fare was increased to Rs 237 per person for local buses and Rs 290 for nonstop and deluxe buses. According to Deputy Superintendent of Police of the district, Jageshwar Bhandari, the police department has fined the buses and microbuses which had raised their fares after receiving complaints from passengers.
According to transport entrepreneurs, they have been forced to increase the fares, as they are unable to carry passengers at the old rates of the fares anymore. They have threatened to halt the movement of public vehicles unless the fares are adjusted in a scientific manner.
According to the general secretary of the Rural Transport Cooperative Society ltd, Badri Subedi, transport entrepreneurs have no other alternative but to increase the fares. “The fare has not increased since 2014. The price of one liter of fuel has increased by Rs 42 from that time. Similarly, vehicles tax, salary and incentives of drivers and co-drivers have been increased as well. We will not run any vehicle unless the fares are increased as well,” Subedi said.
Transport entrepreneurs say that they have increased the fares of public transport as per the decision of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM). However, the DoTM, after green signals from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, had adjusted the fares on July 11 for vehicles operating within two or more provinces only, not for vehicles operating within the same province.
Although the decision to increase the fares was not made by the administration, Dhading Mandali Transport Pvt. Ltd, Rural Transport Cooperative Society Ltd, and Rural Transport Dhading Pvt. Ltd increased the fares for passengers on July 16.
The DoTM has urged the entrepreneurs operating within the same province not to hike the fares. Publishing a notice, the DoTM has said, “Everyone has been informed not to increase the fares unless an adjustment is made by the provincial government or the local government concerned,” the department informed transport entrepreneurs.