Transport strike cripples life nationwide

Chitwan, January 21:

Normal life was affected today due to a nationwide indefinite transport strike called by the National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs to protest vandalism and torching of public vehicles at Lahan in Siraha on Friday.

No vehicles plied on different road sections in Chitwan. Academic institutions remained shut. Ambulances also faced difficulties due to obstructions created by transport workers. Over 50 vehicles were parked over Narayani bridge.

Police today arrested 13 former security men, who had deserted army and police forces during conflict, on charges of vandalising over a dozen public vehicles in course of their demonstrations yesterday.

A report from Pokhara said traffic came to a halt due to the transport strike. Many passengers were stranded on different road sections, as no long route vehicles plied on the Prithvi, Siddhartha and Bhuvi Serchan highways. However, short route vehicles plied as usual.

Long route vehicles remained off the roads in Baglung, Syangja and Tanahun districts, too, our correspondents said.

In Dhankuta, traffic came to a halt on Dharan-Dhankuta road section of the Koshi highway.

Normal life was affected in Gaighat due to the strike. Work in the Udaypur Cement Factory was also disrupted.

A report from Sunsari said life in Dharan, Itahati, Inaruwa, Khanar, among other areas of the district, was paralysed on the first day of the indefinite transport strike today. Only few motorbikes could be seen plying on roads.

Our correspondent from Ramechhap said many passengers bound for Kathmandu were stranded in the district headquarters. The strike affected life in the far-western region, too. Hundreds of passengers were stranded in different areas while public vehicles remained off the roads. A report from Kapilvastu said, traffic totally came to a halt in the district today. Life was badly affected due to the strike, said Santosh Kasaudhan, chairman of Taulihawa Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

In Kavre, demonstrators vandalised a taxi bound for Chautara from Kathmandu at Dhulikhel. Windowpanes of the taxi were damaged, said the driver Jiban Khadka. Traffic movement was disrupted on Araniko and BP highways after the incident. Demonstrators burnt tyres at Budol area of Banepa to obstruct the traffic. Normal life was affected in other districts as well due to the indefinite traffic strike called by the federation, local correspondents reported.