In a bid to control illegal public bus ticket counters overcharging passengers, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has announced it will remove illegal ticket counters across the Valley from Sunday onwards.
The Division is working in coordination with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Administration Office Kathmandu, Department of Transport Management (DoTM) and other stakeholders to implement the move.
“We are going to set an organised system in place so that nobody gets cheated. Even paan pasals and liquor shops sell bus tickets these days and that too at a rate higher than the one fixed by the government,” said Jay SP Raj Sapkota, spokesperson at the division. “The move aims to stop this illegal selling of public vehicle tickets.”
To execute the operation, the division has already formed five groups under Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Panta, chief of the Division, and Sapkota.
According to the division, there are hundreds of such ilegal ticket counters that have long been operating in the Valley mostly in places such as New Bus Park, Samakoshi, Chabahil, Koteshwor, Banasthali, Sitapaila, Kalanki, Sundhara.
To track down illegal ticket sellers, Sapkota said the inspection team will be checking the PAN number certificate of the ticket counter certified by the Department of Transport Management. The division will also be checking the identity card of the the ticket seller in the counter.
Similarly, the division will also from Sunday be enforcing that ticket counter operators follow a mandatory dress code set by the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE). “We have already set up a dress code for ticket sellers with the approval from DoTM. Each company should provide a dress code to their ticket seller in the counter,” said Saroj Sitaula, general secretary at FNNTE.
Meanwhile, the inspection team of the division will also book counters that are being run without registration. SSP Panta said the division will deploy traffic personnel to nab people selling tickets illegally around the Kalanki and New Bus Park areas. The government last year on December had made it mandatory of public transport operators to register themselves as companies at the Company Register Office, as part of the Transport Management Directive-2004, to crackdown on organised syndicate in the public transport sector.
The initiative, though welcomed by all sectors, has also invited some skepticism from the public: they are unsure whether the traffic police, metropolis and CDO office will be successful in curbing the activities of the illegal ticket counters.
“If the drive is implemented successfully, it will be really helpful for us, mostly during festival such as Dashain and Tihar because they overcharge during such festive charge,” said Menuka Timilsena, from Lamjung.