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Fraud? Kathmandu airport forces visitors to pay Rs 100 for using the waiting lounge

The newly managed waiting lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport arrival section. The airport has been charging money for people to use this, apparently illegally. Photo: Shankar Giri
The newly managed waiting lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport arrival section. The airport has been charging money for people to use this, apparently illegally. Photo: Shankar Giri

Kathmandu, March 22

In an apparent act of fraud, the Kathmandu airport has been forcing visitors who go there to receive their families or guests to pay up to Rs 100 just for using the waiting lounge, which should have been allowed free of cost.

For the past three months, the airport has been charging visitors to use the waiting lounge. There are two options available: Rs 50 and Rs 100 for deluxe and superior rooms. Those who cannot pay or deny this are forced to stand up outside.

The Tribhuvan International Airport administration does not directly collect the money but defends the apparent illegal act.

The Kathmandu airport chief Prem Nath Thakur says collecting fees is not unusual as it is a matter of choice.

The airport has contracted a private company named IMS Airport Service to manage some of its sections and the company collects the charge.

“We also get some amount into royalty from the company’s income. If someone wants to sit in an air-conditioned clean room, they should pay the minimum charge,” Thakur says, “There are complaints, but this should not be considered unnatural.”

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