Itahari, February 26:

Transport entrepreneurs and the workers today launched a transport strike on Itahari-Pakali section of the East-West Highway to protest the obstruction in vehicular movement on the highway by Koshi flood victims for the ninth consecutive day today.

Stating that the local administration didn’t pay heed to resume the traffic, around 1,000 transport entrepreneurs and workers halted traffic on Itahari-Pakali stretch by parking their vehicles on the road.

They said their protest would continue until the local administration cleared the obstruction and arranged security for them.

Transport entrepreneur Maharam Biswas said they were compelled to protest as the administration turned deaf ear to their requests.

He said that the transport entrepreneurs in the eastern region submitted a memorandum to the District Administration Office today.

In the memorandum, they have threatened to halt vehicular movement in the eastern region from February 28 if the highway was not reopened by then.

The Koshi chapter of Nepal Transport Independent Workers’ Organisation has also expressed solidarity with the protest. Chairman of the organisation Bhakta Lama said they would not let even the ambulances to ply from February 28 if their demands were not addressed.

Receiving the memorandum, CDO Durga Bhadari said, “I will talk to the ministry concerned to address the problem. “I am also facing difficulties due to the problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Koshi victims continued their protests for ninth day in a row today, demanding the government meet their 13-point demand.

They have blocked traffic on Inaruwa-Koshi Barrage stretch of the East-West Highway.

The attempt of the local administration and political leaders to reopen the highway went in vain as the victims did not agree to step back. Chairman of Koshi Flood Victims’ Struggle Committee Pancha Narayan Mandal said “We won’t withdraw the protests at any cost until our demands are met.”

They have also disrupted the repair works on Koshi embankments.