The government has fixed the minimum public transport fare at Rs 13 for all local routes, including in the Kathmandu Valley.
A meeting between the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) officials, consumer rights activists and transport entrepreneurs, held on Wednesday, agreed to cut minimum fare for local routes to Rs 13 from Rs 13.72, and by 2.22 percent on all long-routes.
Similarly, fares for taxi services operating on meters have been reduced by 1.63 percent. Trucks operating in the Tarai region now have to charge 3.24 percent less and those running along Kathmandu-Pokhara-Narayanghat 3.1 percent less.
However, the decision will have to be approved by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT).
“We will send the proposal to MoPIT for approval on Thursday,” Sarad Adhikari, the technical director of DoTM, told Republica, adding: “The adjustment will likely be implemented from Friday.”
The adjustment means that passengers on local routes in the Valley and other cities will have to pay a minimum of Rs 13 for up to a four-kilometer commute and a maximum of Rs 24 for travelling 16 to 19 kilometers.
Chandra Man Shrestha, the director general of DoTM, said that transport fares have been slashed as per the Scientific Fare Determination Mechanism. The mechanism allows the government to adjust transport fares after fuel prices change by at least Rs 5 per liter since the previous adjustment.
The government has been facing public criticism for not reducing public transport fares despite continuous drops in the price of diesel.
Following no moves from the government bodies responsible for changing fares, the chief secretary-led Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) last week directed MoPIT to change transport fares in line with falling fuel prices and to introduce a provision to revise public transport fares in line with adjustments made in the price of petroleum products by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
MONITORING COMMITTEE FORMED
Meanwhile, DoTM has formed a committee to implement the newly-adjusted transport fares. The committee comprises representatives of DoTM, consumer activists, transport entrepreneurs and the police. “The team will be directed to monitor the implementation on a daily basis and take action against those overcharging passengers,” DoTM’s Adhikari said.