By Babu Ram Devkota, Sindhulimadi, Oct. 10: Vehicles plying on the BP Highway have started charging exorbitant fares with passengers travelling from the capital to celebrate Dashain.
Passengers travelling to the eastern part through Sindhuli have poured their dissatisfaction over exorbitant fares taken from them by transportation entrepreneurs.
According to District Traffic Office, Sindhuli’s new fixed vehicle fare per passenger travelling through 160 KM long BP Highway from Kathmandu to Sindhuli is Rs 619.
Bishnu Thokar, Kamalamai Municipality -4, Sindhuli said that he paid Rs 1000 to travel from Kathmandu to Sindhuli District.
Thokar who has just reached his hometown Sindhuli from Kathmandu on Friday, pouring his misery, said, “Earlier, we use to pay Rs. 700 to travel to and from Sindhuli and Kathmandu, but now, 300 more rupees are asked from us.”
He further complained that no fares were collected at the ticket counter and they were asked to pay during travel. And, soon after eating lunch, they started collecting Rs. 1000 for bus fare aggressively.
Prem Bahadur Magar, a resident of Damak, Jhapa district, said that ordinary people have been affected due to the whims of transport businessmen.
He also told that Dashain- Tihar is like the best time for drivers to rob passengers and complained that he could not get a ticket from the counter even after two years of visiting counters so he had to settle to pay outside the ticket counter, because of which he was cheated on for the bus fare.
Since the first day of Dashain, BP Highway is witnessing the flow of vehicles.
The District Traffic Police, Sindhuli said that they have been checking, without any giving prior information about it, to know if any extra fare is collected than ascribed vehicle fare, and said that action has been taken to those caught with collecting extra bus fare.
Krishna Bahadur Chhetri, Chief of the District Traffic Police Office, Sindhuli, said, ‘We have tightened the checkpoints from Nepalthok, Dumja, to ensure that travel of passengers goes smoothly”, he added, “We have taken action by returning fare to those who have been charged excessive through daily checking as well.”
He said that a temporary refresh centre has been set up at Mulkot on Saturday under the BP Highway. He said that health workers have been arranged at the refreshing centre to check the driver's pressure and remind him about the condition of the road.
“Of the 383 drivers whose pressure was measured from 7 AM to 10 PM on Saturday, the pressure of 47 are found to be abnormal. We have sent them to their destination keeping them fresh for about 15 minutes,” He added.
According to the District Traffic Police Office, Sindhuli, the flow of two-wheelers and four-wheelers have increased by 50 per cent and other large rental vehicles by 30 per cent on the BP highway on Saturday.
Up to 4,000 vehicles are operating on the BP highway daily even under normal conditions.