Private airlines operating in Kolti fleecing passengers

Bajura, October 12

It has come to light that officials of various private airline companies operating in Kolti have been fleecing passengers in remote Bajura.

The airlines have been charging extra fare from passengers en route to Nepalgunj and Surkhet to celebrate the upcoming Dashain festival.

According to passengers, they have no option but to buy these overpriced tickets at the rate of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 against the usual fare of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000.

Local Anil Shahi said the contractors were cheating passengers. He added that he had to pay Rs 6,000 for a ticket to Nepalgunj.

Another local Santosh Shahi said the officials booked the tickets with fake names to imply that all tickets were booked and overcharged the passengers. “People close to the companies are being provided with tickets easily, while others are overcharged.

As Kolti locals are given priority, Humla and Mugu residents have been waiting for the tickets for more than a week now,” said local Madan Rokaya.

“As we don’t have any other transport, we are compelled to buy air tickets at any price,” locals said. The concerned authority has not taken any initiative to monitor the fare though people from Humla, Mugu and other districts living in Kolti as well as adjoining areas are being overcharged.

However, officials of private airline companies refuted the charge and claimed that they were collecting the fare as per the company’s rule. “The rumours of overcharging passengers are baseless,” argued Tek Bahadur Deuba, station manager of Goma Air. According to him, their Nepalgunj office had hiked the fare and they were charging the passengers accordingly.

Mohan Giri, chief of Civil Aviation Authority, Kolti, said they would take stern action against such companies.

Meanwhile, hotel operators are also said to have hiked the price of their services.