Pop goes PM’s promise of rolling back bus fare

Kathmandu, December 1:

The Nepal Meter Taxi Association (NMTA) has reduced taxi fares by seven per cent after continuous pressure. Actually, it should have reduced fares a month ago on November 1 when Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) had reduced the petroleum products’ prices for the second time in a week. When quizzed about the delay in reducing taxi fares, the NMTA officials clammed up.

NOC is slated to reduce the price of petroleum products again on December 3, and this means that NMTA too would have to once again reduce the fare accordingly. NOC reduced the petroleum products’ prices twice — on October 25 and November 1 — but the public vehicles (PVs) did not reduce the fare accordingly though they arbitarily increased fares when the price of petro-products had gone up.

The student unions were protesting against the transporters to create pressure for fare reduction. They have, however, taken their protest programme back after an assurance from Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ that fares would be reduced within two days.

The PM said he would ensure that public transportation complies with the transport ministry’s decision to reduce the fares by seven per cent in petrol-run vehicles and six per cent in diesel-run vehicles within two days. However, except for taxis public transport vehicles are yet to reduce the fares. The Department for Transport Management (DoTM), under the Ministry for Labour and Transport Management, has urged the general people to be wary of taxis charging higher fares.

“Support us by informing about taxis charging high fares. Dial the DoTM’s numbers 4602126 and 4601002,” the department said adding that it has already seized the licenses and other important documents of four taxis on the charge of taking higher taxi fares after an investigation by its probe committee.

Meanwhile, NMTA asked its members to carry the rate card of seven per cent less fare issued on November 22 and charge accordingly.