Banke, May 21
Helpless and hapless because of long general strikes, passengers willing to travel on three wheeler rickshaws has to pay exorbitant fares for short routes.
They have been compelled to pay up to Rs. 1,500 in fares for rickshaw pullers for traveling a mere 16 kilometer road just because they have had no other option. The actual bus fare of Kohalpur-Nepalgunj route is just Rs.25.
Pradeep Sharma, a resident of Jajarkot, said he paid Rs. 1,500 to a rickshaw puller for travelling from Kohalpur to Nepalgunj. "I have to reach Nepalgunj anyhow to get medical treatment to my ailing mother. My mother could not walk the long way, so we decided to take a rickshaw. A good part of our money was spent just to reach Nepalgunj," Sharma said and added he was much worried about the treatment to his mother.
Hundreds of passengers are forced to pay high fares to travel a short distance like Sharma. The continuous 12-day banda had posed a great difficulty to people of the mid west region. During the banda time, the Rikashaw has proved a good means of travel during the hot summer time.
People from many parts such asGulareya of Bardiya, Mainapokhari,Baragadi, Khajura of Banke and Chisapani have to pay higher fares to reach Nepalgunj, the headquarter of the Bank district and a popular market.
Misra Sharma of Salyan also paid Rs. 400 to travel to just 6-kilometer distance. He had to visit Chisapani to get treatment to his mother. The people who can afford to pay higher fares do travel on rickshaws to reach their destinations but people who can not afford high fares are forced to spend their nights at Nepaljung Bus Park.
Some people are also seen making appeal to the banda enforcers to end the strike stating that they had to spend many days at lodges selling their personal belongings such as watches, mobile phones and others. But so far, all their appeals have fallen on the deaf ears of the banda organizers, said a person who has been holed up at the bus park due to long strike.