KATHMANDU, Oct 3: Although the government has said that it has emerged tough against the transport entrepreneurs fleecing passengers, people using the public transport have complained of excessive bus fare within the capital city.
The passengers said the transport workers were imposing more fare than the usual, reasoning the arrival of festivals. Even the students have been deprived of the discount, while some vehicles have flouted the route.
Ram Sundar Shrestha, who came to Bhrikutimandap for Dashain shopping, said, "It was very difficult to get bus from Kalanki to Ratnapark. The buses caught with difficulty are also crammed. Earlier, we used to pay Rs 15 but bound to pay Rs 20 for the same distance now."
Similar story of excessive fare was shared by Anita Basnet who traveled to Ratnapark from Jorpati. She said, "A bus (Ba 2 Kha 7198) named city yatayat coming from Jorpati to Ratnapark took Rs 30 instead of Rs 20 from Bauddha to Ratnapark."
Rs 18 is the fare fixed by the Department of Transport Management for this route (distance).
Inquired about these sufferings, Department Spokesperson Basant Adhikari admitted that the number of local vehicles may have reduced in the Kathmandu Valley citing the outflow of people to different parts of the country from the capital city. "If anyone is found fleecing passengers, he/she would be fined Rs 5,000" he added.
Reverse to the stories above, police have been able to return excessive fares the transport workers had imposed on the passengers travelling by jeep and micro buses to Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli, Solukhumbu, Khotang, and Kakadbhitta from Chabahil, Kathmandu. The transport workers were taking advantage of people's compulsion to go to home for Dashain festival.
The Central Police Newsroom said the concerned vehicles had taken Rs 100 to Rs 400 per ticket. The police added that 68 TATA Sumo were forced to return the surcharge.