Public vehicles in the valley have stayed off the road after the Saturday earthquake , forcing people to walk over long distances. People have to wait for as long as an hour in the Ring Road to board a vehicle which otherwise is flocked by vehicles with the rate of one per minute.
“Most of our drivers and conductors are from the hilly districts of Rasuwa, Dhading and Nuwakot which have suffered heavy damages,” Bharat Nepal, president of Bagmati Federation Transport Union, said. “They have returned to their homes for rescue and rehabilitation.”
It has been learnt some of the drivers have even driven their buses to their villages to rescue their family and relatives.
Meanwhile, long-route vehicles to eastern and Tarai region of Nepal have been charging exorbitantly for tickets. “I have paid Rs 1,500 for a ticket to Jhapa,” Ashish Nepal, who was about to board a bus at Koteshwor said. He is to stand during the whole journey. Tickets for a seat cost more than Rs 2,000. Normally, tickets to Jhapa cost only Rs 1,100.
A chartered vehicle costs even more. Owners of Tata Sumo have been charging up to Rs 30,000 for a one-way journey from Kathmandu to Birgunj.
Bharat Nepal expects the situation to return to normalcy in a couple of days’ time.