Nepal | May 25, 2020

Around 1,800 taxis in Valley yet to install billing machines

Himalayan News Service
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NBSM planning to install the system in all cabs within three weeks

Kathmandu, August 15

Nearly a month since the given deadline, around 1,800 taxis that are in operation in Kathmandu Valley have yet to install the electronic billing machines as required by law. Out of the total 9,500 taxis operating in the Valley, 7,700 taxis have already installed the billing machine.

In a bid to address the mounting number of complaints of passengers being cheated by taxi drivers in Kathmandu Valley, the government had initiated the process of installing electronic billing machines. “We are hopeful that installation of the billing machines in the taxis will help rid the chances of taxi drivers duping passengers,” said Bishwababu Pudasaini, director general at the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM).

Following the direction from the prime minister’s office, the NBSM had told the taxi owners that they would need to have the billing machines installed in their cabs between January 1 and July 22. However, some taxi owners are reportedly refusing to instal the new system, which would close their avenue of conducting fraud.

Nevertheless, the NBSM has shown some leniency towards the cab owners who are yet to get onboard by extending the deadline. “The delay in installing the billing system can also be attributed to technical reasons — we cannot instal the system on more than 100 taxis in a day,” informed Pudasaini. According to him, the bureau should be able to install the billing machines in all the taxis operating in the Valley within three weeks.

After the machines are installed, the taxi driver would have to provide a bill to the passenger, rather than just charging the amount shown in the meter or fixing the fare arbitrarily, as is widely done at present. Apart from the fare, the bill will also contain other relevant details like the taxi number and the initial as well as final metre reading during the course of the journey.

“Proper implementation of this system will go a long way in ensuring that taking a taxi in Kathmandu is a hassle-free affair,” Pudasaini said.

According to him, NBSM and traffic police will jointly monitor the taxis to ensure that the passengers are not being cheated. “We have directed all the taxi owners to instal the billing machines, and vowed strict punishment for anyone flouting the rules,” he added.

The government has made it compulsory to instal the billing machine after increasing number of passengers registered their complaints with the traffic police and NBSM that cabbies had been overcharging them.

During a recent monitoring, the traffic police on Sunday had detained 115 taxis that had not installed the billing machines. The billing machines were installed in those taxis at the Metropolitan Traffic Office in Ramshahpath before they were released.

A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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