Cabbies in Kathmandu fleecing passengers, yet few complaining

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu, March 2 Cabbies have come up with new technique to fleece the gullible passengers. The latest device employed to trick the naive passengers usually gets activated after it gets dark. At one point, taxi driver would tell his passenger, “Taxi meter is out of order, how much will you pay?” By doing this, they levy extra charge on the passengers.

“I have experienced it myself when a taxi driver took me in meter first and after a while he stopped his cab and pretended as though his meter is out of order,” shared a recent victim Parvati Lama.

“It's getting too dark madam, there are no cabs around. Meter is not working, the choice is yours, you pay little extra or walk in dark,” Lama, quoted a taxi driver as saying.

“I had no choice, streets were dark, he looked around and there were neither traffic cops, nor cabs," she said.

"They seem to fix the price seeing the passengers but not according to the meter. They are clever in reading one's face", she added.

Lama is not the only victim, her friend Mahima Sherchan added more about the cabbie tricks. She shared her recent experience when she was fleeced in front of Bishal Bajar Supermarket.

“The taxi driver asked me for extra money but I denied and got down to look for another taxi. But there were a group of taxi drivers there, who refused to drop me home unless I pay extra money,” she shared.

“This practice is rampant from Basantapur to New Road gate. Even if you will take out your cell phone to inform the police, they become irate quickly and warn you. And you are helpless. Cabbies are gangsters on the road. Their languages are too sharp and filthy often and there is no point in arguing,” said Sherchan.

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has already started taking complaints from cell phones via sms, so that people can complain from the spot, wherever they are. Doing this public can save their time and money. Still people are not using this SMS facility, bemoaned MTPD Deputy Inspector of Police Binod Singh.

“In one month, we just received 16 complaints via sms,” said Singh.

MTPD has also urged the public to call traffic cops nearby in such cases. The cop, who is handling the traffic flow, will not be available for help during that rush hour, but we have some others deployed on the road to help the public, added Singh.