Fake student IDs being scanned

Kathmandu, August 15

Transportation entrepreneurs of Kathmandu Valley have expressed concern about being cheated by commuters from all walks of life who show fake student identity cards.

Even some middle-aged commuters have been found producing fake IDs for discounts on public transportation fare, said drivers and conductors.

Raj Lama, 20, of Dhading, driver of a minibus plying on the Thankot-Old Bus Park route, expressed helplessness over passengers producing fake student IDs. The bogus ID cards have low income generating impact on transport entrepreneurs.

The government has enforced 45 per cent discount for students in public transportation. “I make about Rs 4,000 a day by providing discounts for both genuine and fake ID card holders. If passengers didn’t produce fake IDs, I could earn about Rs 7,000 a day,” said Lama adding, “What bothers me the most is middle-aged commuters displaying student IDs to claim transportation discounts.”

Transportation staff usually don’t have enough time for meticulous examination of ID cards. They also don’t bother to examine the cards to avoid clashes and quarrels with passengers. Many illiterate child conductors cannot distinguish between valid and invalid cards.

Rajan Tamang, 10, of Tatopani, Sundhupalchowk, is a child conductor on the Satdobato-Ratna Park route bus. He said, “Until today, I have given discounts to all those who produce IDs. I am scared of passengers who behave rudely while presenting the cards. I have not disclosed the matter to the driver for fear of getting thrashed.”

Last month, Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested two persons with fake student ID cards during a special operation to curb crime in public transportation.

Ram Bahadur Bhandari, 33, staff at a bus ticket counter for Kathmandu-Chautara route, said about 600 commuters were caught with fake identity cards until yesterday. “The fake ID cards have false stamps, blurred colouring, spelling errors, forged signatures and photos,” he said.

He added that card bearers are asked the name and address of their educational institutions, roll numbers, subjects, study level, and finally asked to produce a bill of any kind issued by their college to check if the cards are genuine. “People carrying fake IDs fail to answer these questions and cannot produce the bill,” he added.