The public transport fare – supposed to have been adjusted on a scientific rating system – remains unchanged in Nepal against the backdrop of a plunge in the prices of fuel products in the international market.
The state’s oil monopoly – Nepal Oil Corporation – readjusted the price of fuel products in line with the decline in the international market last Monday while Department of Transport Management was quick to chip in with a pledge to adjust the transport fare within a week. The pledge has not yet been materialized leaving commuters of the public transport in a state of neglect and confusion.
Consumer Forum’s Chairman Harendra Bahadur Shrestha accused the Department of not reducing the public transport fare under pressure from transport entrepreneurs.
“The commuters are suffering with the failure of the transport department to regularize the transport management while officials at the department have meted out a shameful response that they could not reduce fare as the entrepreneurs do not want it,” he said.
The Department started to implement scientific rating of public transport fare since 2008 on basis of a report prepared by an expert with the Pulchowk Engineering College. As per the scientific rating the public transport fare is adjusted when the price of fuel rises or shrinks by Rs 5 per litre.
Department’s Director General Chandraman Shrestha said the National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs did not want to adjust the fare citing the unavailability of fuel in the market on a regular basis.
“We have asked the concerned side to adjust the fare as per the decline in prices, we have also not received fuel,” Shrestha said adding, “If the Federation still fails to come to an agreement, the Department will take a decisive step.”
A passenger Gyanendra Ghale lambasted the Department for failing to take action. “Who has stopped the Department which is supposed to regularize the fare?” he questioned. “Is the Department being run by transport entrepreneurs or its employees?” Ghale further asked.
Meanwhile, the Federation’s Chairman Dinesh Bhandari parried attempts to approach him for comments. RSS