Public transport operators call off strike
KATHMANDU, Feb 2 - The public transport operators Saturday evening called off transport strike in the capital they had called from Sunday following an understanding with the government
The strike was called off for a week following the second round of talks between the agitating transport operators, who have been demanding smooth supply of petroleum products, and the officials at various ministries including the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) ended in a positive note.
“Some of their demands are related with this ministry (MoLTM), while others are related with Home, Finance and Tourism ministries,” a MoLTM official said, “We’ve reached agreement to hold talks over their demands in presence of representatives of the line ministries from Sunday,” he added.
The strike was withdrawn after the government side assured the transport operators that regular supply of the petroleum products will resume from Wednesday.
“Money was lacking before. Now we’ve already released Rs 1 billion and we’re also releasing additional Rs 400 million (to the Indian Oil Corporation) on February 4,” Managing Director of the state-run Nepal Oil Corporation Digamber Jha said.
“We’ve already dispatched senior officials to Bhairahawa and Raxaul to manage additional tankers so as to ensure a smooth supply,” he added.
This morning, talks between the two sides had failed to reach any conclusions, but they had agreed to sit for talks again this afternoon.
The operators have urged the government to fulfill its commitments in a week’s time.
They also said that they would release a strong-worded circular to the concerned transport operators over the complaints regarding the increment in public transport fares on ad hoc basis.
They have put forward a seven-point demand to the ministry including smooth supply and proper monitoring of the quality of petroleum products to prevent adulteration and a guarantee of security to their vehicles during protests and strikes. They had warned to launch transportation strike in the Kathmandu Valley from Sunday if their demands are not met.