Transporters announce nationwide stir

Kathmandu, June 22:

Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association today directed transporters not to ply vehicles.

The call to stall vehicular movement nationwide came after talks held with the government to hike transport fares were inconclusive.

The transporters have been demanding that the government enforce transport fares fixed by the Fare Fixation Committee headed by director-general of the Department of Transport Management Khagendra Mani Pokhrel. Pokhrel had recommended the fares in the presence of a group of transporters after the latter made representatives of consumers’ organisations quit a meeting held to fix the fares.

Transporters of the valley had organised chakka jam at different junctions of the Valley on Friday. They called a Valleywide transport from yesterday. Most of the schools based in the valley have been closed due to the strike.

Talks held today between representatives of FNNTE and the government team headed by Minister for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak were inconclusive after the minister remained firm on his decision to raise transport fares by 25 per cent.

However, talks between Lekhak and student leaders ended on a positive note. “We will sit for

talks with the minister tomorrow morning,”

said Lekhnath Neupane, president of the All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary.

ANNISU-R leader Neupane claimed that student leaders and the minister are expected to strike a deal tomorrow.

Among other things, the students have been demanding a 50 per cent discount on transport fares. Spokesperson for the MoLTM Uddhav Baskota said the government will try to persuade transporters to abide by the government’s decision.

“We will call them for further discussions on the issue tomorrow,” he said, adding that the government may opt for legal action if the transporters refuse to abide by the government’s decision and continue to make people suffer.

Central committee member of the All Nepal National Free Students Union Balgopal Upadhyay said a motorcycle belonging to a government office was set ablaze in front of Nepal Humanities Campus. Two state-owned motorcycles were set ablaze in front of Pashupati Multiple Campus Chabahil during a protest organised in front of colleges today.

He said four state-owned motorbikes have been seized and handed over to Metropolitan Police Circle Singhadurbar. The student unions, which were organising protest programmes separately, have decided to stage protests jointly from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of the Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association, said protests will continue, as the government has remained indifferent to their demands. “We will stop selling fuel from tomorrow,” he said.