| An overloaded taxi plies on National Highway 29 from Dimapur to Zunheboto. Telegraph picture |
Kohima, Dec. 23: Commuters in Nagaland are facing a tough time as transport operators have failed to cope with the heavy rush during the festive season.
All educational institutions have closed throughout the state recently for the holidays and the students have added to the increase in number of passengers.
Kohima, which has over 1,000 zonal taxis travelling to different districts, could not meet the demand and the transport operators had to hire private vehicles at exorbitant rates.
The townís taxis, which are not allowed to ferry passengers in areas outside their jurisdiction, are now being allowed to travel on different routes by the state government and taxi associations.
In towns like Kohima, Dimapur, Mokokchung and Zunheboto, taxi drivers are also making a fast buck, seeking fares that are higher than the government-notified ones.
Though the state transport department has added more buses, this has not helped to ease the load.
City buses are now also allowed to ply on various inter-district routes.
Moreover, the taxis and buses are also carrying more than their capacity, despite the state government and the taxi associationsí ban on it.
A member of the taxi association here said there was a sharp increase in the number of passengers and they were not in a position to meet the extra load.
On taxis charging more than the notified fares, the association is holding the passengers responsible, as they insist on reaching their destinations as soon as possible. Moreover, the passengers do not report the matter to the authorities.
In Dimapur, too, there has been a rise in auto-rickshaw fares.
Most accidents also take place this month. However, this year, there has been no report of any major road accidents in the state.