Kathmandu, April 19:

Supply of petroleum products to the Kathmandu valley came to a standstill today, as tanker drivers went on a strike demanding improvement and adoption of international standards on loss calculation.

Tanker drivers under the Nepal Independent Transport Workers’ Union (NITWU) halted transporting petroleum products from Nepal Oil Corporation’s Amlekhgunj depot on Thursday, stating that the state-owned petroleum supply monopolist failed to meet their demands.

The tanker drivers went on temporary strike from Tuesday, asking NOC to introduce scientific measures to calculate losses of shrinkage, working and temperature, while carrying petroleum products from one depot to another.

The transport workers have asked the NOC to use ‘Flow Metre’ instead of iron scale to measure the volume, provide ample parking at Thankot depot and improve road along the Mahendra and Prithvi highways.

“We are compelled to halt supply after several requests to NOC and concerned authorities about impractical standards of loss calculation have gone unheeded,” said Arjun Aryal, central member of NITWU.

According to him, NOC has been permitting 11 litres of petrol, 10 litres of kerosene and nine litres of diesel as losses of shrinkage, working and temperature variation of one degree between the point of uploading and offloading.

“If the amount varies from the set volume, NOC charges concerned transporters at retail price instead of depot price, which is unfair,” said Aryal.

When contacted, NOC officials declined to comment on the ongoing strike by tanker drivers. The officials claimed that the supply of petroleum products is normal and continues to be regular.