Three wheelers to take to streets

KATHMANDU: Supreme Federation of Nepal National Transport Entrepreneur (SFNNTE) has announced a strike in the Kathmandu Valley on October 26 demanding the government to roll back its decision to phase-out the cooking gas-run three wheelers.

Ram Kumar Blon, coordinator of the ad-hoc struggle committee, said the SFNNTE has appealed various transport entrepreneurs to support its protest programmes. The federation has also urged them to keep their vehicles off the roads on October 26. The federation is also taking out a rally from New Road terminus to Shantibatika, Ratnapark at 11:30 in the morning.

"Ministry of Labour and Transport has ordered the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) to hold formal talks with us but there has been no any progress," Blon told The Himalayan Times. Meanwhile, Sarad Chandra Paudel, Director, DoTM said, the ministry had just directed them to hold informal talks with the SFNNTE, instead of a formal talk.

"The government does not have enough budget to pay compensation for every entrepreneurs," he said, adding, "But the government would surely finalise a date for talks and resolve their problems." He further said that the three-wheelers were operated through subsidised cooking gas which he said has added extra financial burden on the government.

Paudel further said that the cooking gas-run tempos were not a safe means of transport for they use highly inflammable gas.

"These tempos are also causing traffic congestion as they move slowly," he said, leaving the matter to be resolved by the Finance Ministry.

"Its up to the Finance Ministry to provide them compensation," added Paudel.

Protesting federation workers have demanded job security for all those who will lose out their job after the phaseout plan.

A meeting convened by the Ministry of Transport in September 9, had decided to ban cooking gas-run three-wheelers and issue route permit for microbuses.