Monday, 27 September, 2021

Public transport fares to be revised


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 26: Authorities have assured public transport operators to revise transportation fare soon. Their assurance came at a time when the public transport operators have been protesting against the government citing delay in revising the fare of vehicles operating within a province.
Issuing a notice on July 13, the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) informed that the fare of long-route public vehicle operating within two or more provinces has been increased by 28 per cent. Nevertheless, the DoTM informed that the fare for the public vehicles operating within a province would be fixed by the provincial authorities.
“The fare for the long-route vehicles has been increased and it was a good move by the government. However, the delay in revising the fare for the short-route vehicles has led to the protest,” said Arjun Prasad Gautam, chairman of Nepal Meter Taxi Association.
On July 22, the public transport entrepreneurs from the Taxi Association and Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs had staged protest in front of the Department of Transport Management Office in Ekantakuna, Lalitpur.
Similarly, on Sunday, the public transport operators gathered at Maitighar Mandala and marched towards the District Administration Office, Kathmandu. They then handed over a key, symbolising keys of their vehicles, to the Prime Minister via Chief District Officer of Kathmandu Kali Prasad Parajuli.
The handing over of the key has been cited as a representative protest to make the authorities aware of the delay in addressing their demands.
As per the transport operators, the government has failed to revise the fare on a scientific basis prompting them to stage protests frequently.
“It is said that the fare was revised in 2018 but it is similar to that fixed in 2013. We have appealed to different governments during this period but none has shown proper concern,” said Gautam.
Nevertheless, the DoTM recently assured that they would revise the fare on a regular basis based on the scientific factors such as the price of petroleum products, vehicle parts, and market value, among others.
“The fare will be revised when there is a change in the economic situation of the factors required to operate public transport,” said Lok Nath Bhusal, information officer at DoTM.
Bhusal also stressed that the provincial authorities were also preparing to revise the fee structure for vehicles operating within their jurisdiction.
When The Rising Nepal contacted the officials at the Transportation Management Service Office of Bagmati Province, they informed that the Bagmati Province Ministry for Physical Infrastructure Development was working to revise the fares.
“The ministry will decide the fare and inform us. We will then implement the new fare. It is uncertain when we will get the directives from the ministry but we are sure to receive it at the earliest,” said Bhakta Bahadur Bhandari, chief at the Bagmati Province Transport Management Office.
The transport operators also informed that they were awaiting the provincial bodies to address the demand soon but would not wait for long.
“We would request the concerned authority across the country to revise the fare of the public vehicles operating within the province soon. If any delay made in revising the fare, we will be bound to intensify our protest,” said Gautam.