Hundred of passengers are stranded at Kolti Airport, Bajura.

More than 600 passengers are looking for air tickets after the unseasonal rainfall damaged the Martadi-Kolti road section.

Dhan Bahadur Bohora, a local, said passengers were waiting for tickets for the last one week, but had not been able to buy them. While the number of people looking for air tickets has increased, the flights operated from the airport are not enough. Staffers at the airport have been facing problems managing the crowd of passengers. What's worse, air service had to be halted considering the adverse weather condition.

This has led to increase in the number of passengers at the airport. Patients and helpless people have been badly affected as they are stranded.

Assistant CDO Samir Bhandari said it was very difficult to manage passengers at Kolti Airport. He added that hundreds of passengers were waiting for tickets.

Locals said private airlines were charging passengers high price ignoring the price fixed by the authorities. The ticket fare to Nepalgunj from Kolti was fixed at Rs 5,500, but the airlines charged up to Rs 8,000. A local said that the authorities concerned were mum over the issue.

People who had returned home from different places of the country for Dashain festival have started returning to their workplace, which has increased the number of people seeking air tickets.

Samjhana Adhikari of Himali Rural Municipality said it was very difficult to get air ticket in Kolti after many people started buying air tickets as many roads in the district were damaged due to landslide and floods. Passengers from Bajura, Humla and Mugu have been stranded for a week following the same. A local of Humla, Khum Bahadur Rawal, said some passengers got the tickets easily while others did not get any even after days.

A local from Budhinanda Municipality Dabal Nepali said the money brought for the ticket had been already spent on lodging and food.

According to Kolti Airport Chief Krishna Rimal, Summit and Tara airlines used to operate one flight each daily, but Sita Airline had not operated its flights from October 18, while Nepal Airline had operated three flights from October 18. He said the problem occurred after the number of flights from the airport was reduced.

Cargo operator Tekendra Kathayat of Badimalika Municipality said that regular flights could not be operated even though the number of passengers had increased.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 28, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.