Govt, transporters in cahoots, alleges NCF

Kathmandu, March 12:

Nepal Consumer Forum (NCF) has given a seven-day ultimatum to the government to reduce public transport fares to the ratio of reduced price of petroleum products. The price

of petrol has decreased by 22.5 per cent and diesel by 21.43 per cent since last July.

NCF claimed the government is cheating in the name of fixing ‘scientific’ fares. “Reduction of minimum length, from 6 km to 3 km, in fixing public transport fares in Kathmandu valley is a trick,” it said. Ultimately, from 6 km onwards commuters will pay fares they are already paying.

The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management has set Rs 9 as minimum fare till 3 km, Rs 10 till 4 km, Rs 11 till 7 km, Rs 12 till 9 km, Rs 13 till 12 km, Rs 14 till 15 km, Rs 16 till 20 km and Rs 18 till 25 km last Thursday. On long routes, it is Rs 1.33 per km.

“Now, the day bus fare from Kathmandu to Pokhara is Rs 246.27, but due to the new rate it will go up to Rs 269. How can the scientific fare reduce rates?” NCF asked. Pokhara is 202 km from Kathmandu.

According to NCF, the new fare rate of Rs 1.33 per km will increase the fares to major destinations, disadvantaging the people sorely.