Taxation policies of the government determine the pattern of consumer behavior i.e. their investment on the consumption and saving, however their investment pattern reflects their way & standard of living. As we know that some policies are being made by the government to discourage the public to invest on the luxurious products to increase the saving to enhance the economy. But these policies have both negative and positive consequences. Living pattern of public reflects the standard of the country (shows how the economy of the country is). My study is not covering the all area economy but a very micro element of the economy which is being neglected by all of us. I will be focus on the local transport facilities inside the particular city of Nepal. This is the based on my personal observation, which I gained from by personal movement in the city during certain span of time. Why this happening is the matter of discussion. Let’s start with diagnosing the certain issue;
- Transport Facilities:Whenever you want to roam inside the city you will get variety of Private public Transport ( Private Buses (Min, Micro, Coasters), Tempoo ( Three Wheeler Diesel & Gas Operated, Kathmandu TukTuk), Taxis (Private Taxis), & Public Transport (SajhaYatayat, MahanagarYatayat) are easily available. But you will see less numbers of Private vehicles are running on the road except Motor bikes & cars of Private companies. But in contrast to our city & country other country not need to go far just take the example of India where we can see plenty of private cars are running over the roads.
- Pollution:In some country pollution control test is being conducted in every three month for the vehicles running on the road. The vehicles to be meet the parameter fixed by the authority, failing to meet won’t be allowed to run. But in our country I couldn’t see this, I don’t know why. In some country the vehicles has certain fixed life to run but I saw in our city very old vehicles are running without any hurdles. I don’t know why these vehicles are not taken into consideration which are the reason of hazardous event. During the 30 minutes of travel you will get the color changed of clothes. You will get your face, hair & body full of dust which cause you to fall sick if you are not a regular traveler.
- Fare:Although the fare for the particular distance has been fixed already by the transport authority but we generally find the criteria has not been followed or accepted, they generally charge higher fare. If you deny to pay will be the situation of deep argument and you may lose your respect. So many times I thought if I could complain about them but as a common man I used to get back to my normal position by thinking that the amount is very low.
- Occupancy Capacity: Every Vehicle has certain number of seats as per the factory design and permission granted by authority, but the seats in the vehicles are being increased by adding extra materials (stools and wood). Overloading of the passengers than the capacity is the result of accident which is the common in Nepal (Generally seen in the news). Although Government has taken strict strategy to control over the accident by checking the permit and the numbers of passengers carrying out. But we couldn’t see that its implemented in practices.
- Malfunctioning of Vehicles during operation: As I discussed before that most of the vehicles running on the roads are outdated, which to be thrown out from the city. Most of the times these vehicles are getting punchers, break fail, oil leakage during running on the road. They used to repair by keeping the vehicles a side on the road and we heard lots of accidents took place because of this. There is no facilities available to toe the vehicle and access to the designated place for repair & maintenance.
- Misuse of Zebra Crossing:Zebra crossing is for the pedestrians this is to be aware by the vehicles operator. Many vehicles are seen standing on the zebra crossing for pick and drop the passengers even in front of the traffic police standing over there. I think all stakeholders concerned to this issue needs briefing.
- Over Bridge, Under Pass:Rarely found in the city, although some places have these facilities but not properly utilized. Mostly these are used by the foot Path sellers &beggars, we found very narrow place for the pedestrians to use.
- Traffic Rules:As I go through the traffic rule books I found that the traffic rules of here is the best and matching international standard. But unfortunately it’s not fully adopted and being implemented by both the parties i.e. Travelers & Authority.
- Inappropriate Parking : You rarely see the parking facilities inside the valley.
Above all aspects I pointed out to just intimate you all about the Road and Transport condition of Nepal’s capital city. My Motive is not to figure out any weaknesses rather make you all to be alert while roaming within the city. Now I want to come on the exact issue of our article Unfair Fare for that I will tell you the happening in a Micro Bus in which I was one of the 15 Passengers.
On Saturday morning (Weekly Holiday), I woke up 8:30 and I planned to visit my friends and I took a micro bus for my destination (15km far from origin). The fixed fare by authority is Rs. 20, that I know and the said destination is my frequent visit place where I used to visit once in a week. As I told that I don’t want to be involved in any kind of deep argument. There was an argument going on between conductor & a passenger sitting beside the driver for the fare. The passenger seems well educated and knowledgeable about the rules, regulation and RTA policies. He was telling that the fare for his origin to destination is Rs13, where conductor was insisting for Rs.15. The passengers replied I will not give a single penny than the fare fixed and he also tried to inspire other passengers for not to be afraid if you are as per the law. I was smiling that he saw me through mirror fixed in front of the driver for seeing the back as I was just sitting behind him. He start to talk to me through the glass I replied by smiling and agreeing upon his every statement. After few minutes he got his destination and symbolically he said me goodbye, then we again started to move towards our destination suddenly another argument started between another passenger & conductor as he charged more Rs. 9 than the actual fare. This time, in the argument another passenger also support to discourage the conductor not to charge more than the actual. I realized, everyone is getting exploit but very few are raising the voice against the exploitation. Now it’s my turn to pay, and I had to pay indeed Rs.5 more than the actual. If I could oppose his such behavior, but I didn’t want for myself.
Fuel v/s Fare:
Price of fuel is determined by the suppliers internationally which is beyond the control of our government. Price of Fuel & Fare has positive relationship, when price of fuel increase fare also increase but in higher proportion. When price decrease fare never decrease or decrease in very negligible proportion, which is giving the challenge to various economics theory.
- Price of Fuel Determined Internationally, beyond the control of Government but Government also trying to provide to public in reasonable price even in less price than the purchased price. For that hundreds of thousands losses are being covered by Government.
- We rely on Third party supply, we generally suffer the scarcity of fuel in the market which create the existence of black market, smuggling & unacceptable price. The Public Transport in this situation found very low but demand by the passengers is as before, which create situation to pay fare as asked.
- Fare increase before the price of fuel increase in the market but never decrease if price decrease or price not increase as anticipated.
Concession & Fare:
As the daily life of people of the city depend on the public transport government has made the policy to provide the facility to the certain group of the society on concession price i.e. students & senior citizen, for which they should provide the proof upon demand. But the concession rate is not well aware by both the party, even aware but not implemented correctly. The conductors are even not so much educated to read the matter inside the ID card. I have seen that a conductor was asking with the 70 years old lady that in which college she is studying.
There is dark side also, some people are presenting fake ID proof to get benefited of the policies.
- The Government should make flexible & liberalized taxation policies to reduce the market cost of the vehicles for the individual. The cost of vehicles in neighbor country is three time lower than the price of our country. I agree that the government is discouraging to use the more vehicles for safe guard of the economy but there is also another point of thoughts i.e. necessity & requirement.
- No facilities available like Metro rail and railway, road ways is only the means of transporting so the roads are to be wider & concreted.
- Underpass & Over bridge to be made available to safeguard the pedestrians and avoid unnecessary jam & blockage.
- Regular inspection of the vehicles to be done by the RTA for pollution & accidental event control.
- Awareness of traffic rules & safety to be promoted.
- Eco friendly vehicles to be introduced.