The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) and National Bureau of Standards and Metrology, together, have detained as many as 115 taxis for running their business without computer billing system and refusing to serve commuters by turning on their fare-meters.
According to MTPD, the plan to detain such taxis only went ahead after DIG Sarbendra Khanal took charge as MTPD chief. The Nepal Government had already issued a directive on January 17, saying that running fare-meters on taxis were mandatory and the NBSM had asked taxi operators in Kathmandu Valley to have the system installed by July 22. MTPD in association with NBSM has made necessary arrangements at its office in Ramshahpath to provide the installation service. Since then, around 7,000 out of almost 9,500 cabs operating in the Valley have already installed the system till date. However, many taxi drivers failed to comply with the rules.
MTPD Spokesperson SSP Lokendra Malla said the authorities would release the detained taxis only after they were fitted with the system. Currently, the total charge for fitting the billing system in a cab is around Rs 9,000.
This move aims to prevent passengers from being ripped off as the system requires taxi drivers to issue receipts to their passengers for every ride. The receipt incorporates information like distance traveled, total fare and registration number of the cab.
With the aim of further enforcing the rule, the government has also introduced a provision under which taxi operators cannot renew or transfer ownership of taxi if they have not installed computer billing system. Moreover, the authorities have encouraged passengers to demand the bill after commute and to report any taxis without the billing system to the local traffic authority.