Cabbies charging exorbitant fares

Kathmandu, October 29:

The taxi drivers in the valley are charging exorbitant fares from customers, thanks to lack of a government monitoring mechanism. During Dashain, the drivers even run their taxis without turning the metres on so as to collect as much money as they can.

The Taxi and Tempo Unit (TTU) at Nepal Bureau of Standards (NBS), a body authorised to inspect taxi metres, the drivers hiked taxi fares as per their wish due to lack of human resources. Lok Bahadur Shrestha, assistant inspector, TTU, said, “We don’t have enough human resources to monitor whether taxi metres are tampered with,” said Shrestha.

According to Shrestha, at least three staffers are needed for the inspection of a taxi. He said it won’t be possible to monitor the taxis without hiring more staffers.

Smriti Poudyal, a student, said she was charged Rs 90 while coming home at Anamnagar near APCA House from Ratna Park a few days ago though the normal charge is Rs 45-50. Poudyal said, “When I asked the driver about the exorbitant fare, he told me to lodge a complaint at the Nepal Metre Taxi Association (NMTA), which hiked the fare.”

However, Bishnu Lal Shrestha, secretary of the NMTA, said that the fares have not been hiked.