KATHMANDU, Oct 4: The operators of short-distance public transport halted their services in the Kathmandu Valley on Monday, as a protest against “the apathy shown by the government authorities” to the issue of hiking transport fares.
The transport entrepreneurs operating small buses and taxis in particular have been demanding the province and local governments enforce the new fares in line with the revised transport fares by the federal government in July. Due to the protest, vehicular movement on the ring road in the Valley was disrupted today.
The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) hiked the public transport fares by 28 percent effective from July 14. Based on the existing “scientific” mechanism that the government and the transport entrepreneurs had agreed upon around a decade ago, the DoTM revised public transport fares for long routes.
However, for many transport services that are under the jurisdiction of either provincial or the local governments, the new fares have not been fully implemented due to the delay at the sub-national levels, according to the Central Federation of Public Transport Nepal.
“Previously, we repeatedly forwarded written notices to the authorities concerned, however our voice has remained unheard. Instead the authorities arrested our member transporters when they attempted to hike the fares by themselves,” said Keshab Nepal, general-secretary of the federation.