• Govt to freeze bank accounts of those halting public transportation services
  • Drivers, co-drivers not to participate in transporters’ strike
Kathmandu, April 18 Public transport entrepreneurs today announced a series of protest activities against the government’s recent moves to end the prevailing syndicate system in the domestic transportation industry. A day after the government decided not to renew the registration of existing transport bodies (transport committees and associations), public transport entrepreneurs representing different transport bodies made public their protest activities in support of syndicate system in transportation sector. The Cabinet, on Tuesday, had decided not to renew the registration of existing transport bodies, which will effectively end the monopoly of transport bodies along different road routes. Organising a press meet today, the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association (NNTEA) termed the recent decision of the government to scrap registration of transport bodies as a ‘one-sided decision’ and asked the government to immediately roll back its decision and amend the existing Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993. The protest schedule unveiled by NNTEA includes completion of groundwork for protests on April 19, submission of memorandum to the prime minister and provincial chief ministers on April 20, installing black flags atop all public vehicles across the country on April 21, staging sit-ins at all transport offices of the government on April 29, not operating their vehicles on May 4 and imposing indefinite public transportation strike from May 10. “Public transportation sector in Nepal requires a few reforms, which is possible only through the joint effort of transporters and the government. However, scrapping transport bodies in the name of ending syndicate system is not justifiable,” said Dolnath Khanal, president of NNTEA. However, government bodies, including the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), have said that the government will not step back from its earlier decisions targeting to end syndicate system in the public transportation sector. “Enough groundwork has been done before deciding to end monopoly of different transport bodies in the public transportation sector. If required, the government will even freeze the bank accounts of those transporters and transport bodies that halt public transportation service,” informed a government official seeking anonymity. Meanwhile, drivers and co-drivers of public transportation in the country have said that they will not participate in the protest activities initiated by different transport committees and associations. “Transport bodies have not included the concerns of workers in their demands with the government this time. Thus, we will not participate in any protest activities of transport entrepreneurs this time,” said Bhim Jwala Rai, general secretary of the Free Transport Workers’ Organisation (FTWO). Citing that transport bodies have become commercial entities though they were initially registered as non-profit organisations, Rai also welcomed the decision of the government to register transport bodies as a ‘company’.