Truckers continue strike as buses ply in east

Itahari, June 28:

Agitating truckers gave continuity to their strike today, disrupting supply of essential commodities across the country. However, bus-owners, who had supported the truckers, operated their buses in the eastern region from today.

The agitating truckers have been demanding that highways be declared as a zone of peace and security be provided to their vehicles round the clock.

“Supply of essential goods has been halted for three days,” secretary of the Mechi-Koshi Joint Truck Management Committee JB Khadka said.

Accusing the government of ignoring their demands, the truckers have been parking over 100 loaded vehicles at Naubise. They have vowed not to ply the trucks unless their demands are met, Khadka said.

Member-secretary of the Koshi chapter of the Nepal National Transport Federation (NNTF) Shankar Ghimire said the central office of the federation last night issued a circular to its zonal panels to run buses.

Buses plied in Mechi and Koshi today. Vehicular movement also resumed in the Duhabi section of the Koshi Highway this afternoon, the Duhabi Area Police Office said.

Meanwhile, truckers accused bus-owners of the eastern region of betrayal. “The bus-owners plied their buses fearing that if the agitation became a success, the credit will go to the truckers,” Khadka said. According to Khadka, “An accord was reached with the bus owners yesterday not to operate buses.”

Bus-owners claimed that they decided to ply their vehicles to make sure that roads and vehicles do not become the targets of agitation. Secretary of the Koshi chapter of the Nepal Independent Transport Workers’ Association Bhim Rai said the NNTF’s circular created a misunderstanding between bus-owners and truckers.

“The bandh should have been called after holding consultations with all sectors concerned,” Giridhari Sapkota of the Dharan-based Purwanchal Truck Syndicate said.

A report from Biratnagar said trucks bound for Nepal have been stranded at Jogbani for the last three days.