Kathmandu, Oct. 5: Citizens’ Help Desks (CHDs) that were established ahead of the festive seasons are receiving less public complaints than what the police had expected.
The Nepal Police in the wake of the festive mood of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath had set up nine CHDs at major junctions of the capital to hear and address the public complaints while going to their home villages to celebrate Dashain, the great festival of the Hindus.
As directed by the Metropolitan Police Commission’s Office, Ranipokhari, the Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, established such CHDs at different places of the Valley.
The public can get CHD service from the capital’s major junctions such as Sundhara, Gaushala, two each at the New Bus Park, Gongabu and one each at Koteshwore, Balkhu, Kalanki, Balaju and Swoyambhu.
“The help desks are meant for the public who travel in public vehicles for their convenience while going to celebrate Dashain in their hometowns,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and chief of the Range, Bikram Singh Thapa said.
In the CHDs, people traveling in public vehicles during the festival hours can lodge complaints against the transport entrepreneurs if they are charged exorbitant fares and if the vehicles are over-loaded with passengers, said SSP Thapa.
Srijana Thapa, who came to buy tickets for her hometown Gorkha to mark Dashain, said that she had not heard about the CHDs set up at the New Bus Park.
Asked if she had sought any help from the CHDs in her lifetime, she was not sure if the complaints lodged by her would be addressed.
Prakash Rai, who was standing in line to a buy ticket for his hometown to Sankhuwasabha, said that he had to wait for three hours to buy three tickets. “ The police can be seen in front of the ticket counter, but they act as if everything is ok, while buying tickets.”
“It is also the duty of the police personnel to manage the queues to purchase tickets, but they do nothing unless we a lodge complaint,” said Rai.
On Monday alone, the police forced 68 public vehicles of the TATA Sumo brand plying towards Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Solukhumbu and Kakarbhitta from Kathmandu to return the over charge to the passengers.
According to the police, the TATA Sumo vehicles were charging Rs. 100 to Rs. 400 more than the normal charge to reach the eastern part of Nepal.
The drivers of these vehicles faced action from the Chabahil-based CHDs.
Spokesperson at the Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, Pradhumna Karki, said that they had brought at least a dozen vehicle owners under legal action for charging double the transport fares from the passengers during the Dashain festival.
There is a trend of complaining directly to the nearest police office rather than informing the CHDs.
SP Karki said that the help desk would create awareness among the passengers during their journeys, reduce the cases of robberies, and control the exorbitant fares charged by the transport entrepreneurs and other vehicles.