The government hiked transport fare by 9.9 per cent today citing petroleum price hike in recent past.
"We adjusted public transport fares according to petroleum price hike," director general of Department of Transport Management (DoTM) Dangol, said, claiming that the department has taken scientific measures to hike public transport fare.
"Transporters have been pressuring to revise fare since months," he added.
Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNTE) has been pressuring the government to hike transport fare by at least by 17 per cent since July.
According to the new hike, people travelling by public transport in Kathmandu Valley have to pay at least Rs 1.18 more from Friday from current minimum transport fare of Rs 12.
However, consumer rights activists have criticised the decision saying the decision is 'irrational' and unscientific.
"The hike is not scientific as it does not correspond with diesel price hike," said secretary of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal Netra Dhital.
According to him, the government has hiked 9.9 per cent transport fare, while Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has hiked diesel price by 5.92 per cent recently since last hike of February 2.The state-oil monopoly had hiked diesel price three times – from Rs 68.50 to Rs 76 in a litre — this year. Petrol price has been hiked from Rs 88 to Rs 105 per litre recently.
“Most of the public vehicles run by diesel, so the hike is not only unscientific but also fuel inflation," he said, adding that the decision will hit the common people the most. "We urge the government to withdraw the decision and hike the fare according to the scientific rate prescribed by Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University (TU).
Some three years ago, the engineering college had suggested calculation of fuel cost to 30-35 per cent in the total transportation operation cost. However, the government has not applied the suggestion except once in March 26, 2009.