CHITWAN, July 31: After traffic police started charging Rs 1,000 for not having the required documents while driving, transport entrepreneurs and drivers in Chitwan have protested.
Traffic police have started to check vehicles in different parts of the district, purportedly to maintain security and control irregularities.
Transport entrepreneurs and drivers have demanded that the fines be reduced. They have threatened to halt transport services until the fine is reduced.
Until two months ago, drivers were fined around Rs 250 for not having the required documents. However, they have started fining them Rs. 1,000, which is more than provided for in the transportation act.
Drivers are required to pay a fine if they don´t have the required documents with them while driving or if a problem arises over routes. “It takes time to make out the required documents, but after a fine is paid, traffic police just issue a receipt for the day and one has to keep paying the fine again until the documents are ready” said Vice-president of Nepal National Transportation Entrepreneurs Association, Ram Prasad Subedi.
Subedi and transport workers held a demonstration on Tuesday to protest the fines collected by traffic police.
According to Nepal National Transportation Entrepreneurs Association, drivers won´t be paying fines to traffic police from now onwards and they won´t be taking any documents from them either.
“The checking is neither regular nor done in an appropriate way,” said Badri Poudel, a transport entrepreneur. According to him, traffic police are not concerned what kind of stuff vehicles are carrying; rather their main motive is to collect fines from drivers.
If the demands are not fulfilled, Nepal National Transportation Entrepreneurs Association has threatened to go for a series of protests from 10th August onwards.
However, according to Chitwan police, they have been collecting fines as per the rules. Police chief Bhupal Kumar Bhandari said that they are collecting the fines in order to improve the transport system.
He denied giving a commission to police personnel for collecting fines from drivers. He also accused Nepal National Transportation Entrepreneurs Association of not cooperating with traffic police in Narayanghat.
Traffic police have collected more than Rs 4.37 million from vehicle checkings from July onwards, according to data available with the police.