KATHMANDU: The government’s decision to slash taxi fares by 1.63 per cent has brought no cheer among customers due to the biasness of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM). This has now forced passengers to pay an extra 59 paisa per km. The revised rate for public transportation was implemented from Friday. As per the approval of Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), taxi fare was supposed to come down to Rs 35.41 per km from Rs 36. This means the fare had to be fixed at Rs 35 per km in round figure. However, DoTM did not make any change to old taxi fare of Rs 36 per km and flag down cost of Rs 14. DoTM officials said the fare has been adjusted based on Rs 36.69 per km calculated during the review of fare last time. Mohan Bhattarai, mechanical engineer at DoTM, said, “Last time, fare was fixed at Rs 36 per km even as it was supposed to be Rs 37 per km in round figure.” This also means that the government has been calculating something and implementing something else. The last time DoTM had revised the transport fare was in February, when cab fare had come down by 1.62 per cent. This time, based on calculation of fare taking into account impact of fuel component in fare fixing mechanism, cab charge had come down by 1.63 per cent and other public transport fare by 2.22 per cent. A source at MoPIT said that the government has been facing difficulties in implementing the new fare each time there is a revision because of the tendency of the transporters to charge high and the government requiring to favour consumers. As per MoPIT, there has been a significant fall in petrol price, however, the cab fare has been coming down only marginally as the fare fixing process requires changes in fuel price by at least by five rupees per litre and fuel is only one among the 14 components contributing in determining transport fare. Fuel holds 35 per cent weightage in scientific fare fixing mechanism that was adopted seven years ago. Stating the current mechanism of determining fare is impractical, consumer rights forums have been demanding that the government revise it at the earliest. Meanwhile, DoTM has cut the fare charged by airport taxis by eight rupees in fixed fare of Rs 498 for up to five km. Similarly, per km fare of Rs 72 after five km has been slashed by two rupees to Rs 70 per km.
Fare cut brings no cheer to cab passengers
Published: 01:29 am Sep 15, 2015