No revision in transport fare before Dashain

Kathmandu, September 8

Though transport entrepreneurs had made a hike in public transportation fare a major condition before announcing the booking of bus tickets for Dashain, the government has clarified that transportation fare will not be reviewed before the festive season.

Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at Department of Transport Management (DoTM), said that the government is not in a position to review public transportation fare before Dashain as it will affect the festive market and consumers.

“However, we will review the fare after the festive season based on scientific fare determination mechanism in line with the change in price of fuel and non-fuel products since the last revision in the transportation fare,” he said.

Though transporters and government have not reached a common understanding regarding opening the booking of bus tickets for Dashain, Hamal said next meeting with transport entrepreneurs will finalise the date to open advance booking of bus tickets.

Earlier, government had proposed transport entrepreneurs to start booking of bus tickets for festive season from September 11. However, transport entrepreneurs have been refusing to follow the proposal urging the government to first raise the public transportation fare.

The advance bus ticket booking for the public is usually opened a month before Dashain festival begins. However, every year transport entrepreneurs put forth their demands and conditions before opening the booking of bus tickets, thereby delaying advance booking of bus tickets.

DoTM had raised public transportation fare by 20 per cent in June citing the rise in price of fuel and other non-fuel components that are taken into consideration while determining public transportation fare. However, the government had immediately rolled back the decision under direction from the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Meanwhile, transport entrepreneurs have said that the government needs to take not only the concerns of the transporters but of the overall transportation sector seriously. “Road condition across the country is at its worst and transporters are forced to operate their vehicles at high risk. Similarly, the cost of operating vehicles has gone up significantly due to the rise in price of fuel and other non-fuel products,” said Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of the Federation of Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs Association.

Meanwhile, DoTM also said government is planning to add extra vehicles in coordination with private sector along different routes that see a high flow of passengers during the festive season.