Taxi passengers not getting payment receipts due to dysfunctional billing machines


Achyut Regmi
Kathmandu, July 25: Although the taxis in Kathmandu are installed with the computer billing machines ‘Printer Machine’ since a year and half to regulate the services in service-oriented manner, majority of such machines have gone dysfunctional by now.

The Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology had started installing the machines in the taxis since January 1, 2017 following the rampant grievances of commuters of being cheated by the taxis in the fair.

Commuters would receive a receipt dispensed by those machines which contained information like distance traveled, total taxi fare and taxi numbers.

They ceased to receive the receipts after those machines started going haywire in no time of installation. Many taxi drivers, passengers claimed, would deliberately not give the bills to the passengers despite the operative printer machines.

Nepal Meter Maxi Entrepreneurs Associations Chairperson Arjun Gautam stated that passengers were bereft of the bills not on purpose but due to the dysfunctional machines. He asserted, “The machines equipped in the taxis were mediocre in quality. Hence they went out of order in no time.”

There are around 10,000 taxis plying in the Kathmandu Valley.
Gautan shared that around Rs 140 million was sent abroad so far to procure ring the printer machines. He further said, “We had warned of the mediocre printer machines and said it would not operate longer given the air pollution in the Valley but it was implemented forcefully.

Taxi scam is reported more particularly in areas like New Bus Park, Kalanki, Koteshwor New Road, Bir Hospital, Lagankhel, Airport, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Thamel and Durbamarga. General Director for the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology Bishwa Babu Pudasaini blamed dysfunction of the printing machines on diver’s negligence. “The machine’s warranty is one year.

There are complains however that most of the machines have broken down before its expected time in large part due to drivers’ negligence,” he said.

The Department of Transport Management will fine and ban the taxi found to be operating without the printing machine from operating for 10 days.

For the Department’s part, its spokesperson Tulasi Ram Aryal said the Department is monitoring taxi scams on a regular basis, and will take action against those cheating on passengers under various pretexts.
The total 8,500 taxies operating in the Valley have the printing machine installed of a total of 10,645 registered, according to the Department.

At least 30 taxi drivers face action on a daily basis for cheating on passengers under various excuses like not operating on meter, charging passengers rampantly and refusing to give the bill, said the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division. “We monitor approximately 500 taxies in the Valley on a daily basis, and of them, 30 to 35 face punishment for defrauding passengers,” said Basanta Kumar Panta, the Division Chief.

The Division currently has deployed 20 traffic police in civvies to monitor taxies. The Division imposes a fine of Rs 3,000 each on a taxi charging passengers high fare, said Panta.