THT 10 YEARS AGO: Transporters call indefinite strike

Kathmandu, January 31, 2008

Demanding regular supply of fuel and maintaining its quality, the transport entrepreneurs today announced an indefinite transport strike in the Valley beginning February 3.

“The strike would be extended throughout the nation in a few days if the government remained indifferent to our demands,” said Rajan Rokka, convener of the Bagmati Zonal Committee of the Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs while addressing the press conference organised to make its protest programmes public. “There was no point of plying only a handful of vehicles as most of the vehicles are off the roads anyways,” Rokka said.

The chakka jam is expected to have serious consequences in the near future. It would also greatly affect the daily life of the people of the valley who have been facing difficulty due to the shortage of cooking gas, kerosene, petrol and public transportation. Rokka claimed that only 25 per cent of the public vehicles were plying on the roads these days due to shortage of diesel. “Those plying vehicles need to struggle whole night to get a little amount of fuel,” he said.

The entrepreneurs have put forth seven-point demands to the government claiming that there exists artificial shortage of fuel in the market.

Pharmacists selling banned drugs with impunity

Kathmandu, January 31, 2008

Despite the government’s resolve to bring chemists under the purview of law, mal practices on their part are rampant.

During the Department of Drug Administration’s random inspection in the current fiscal year, of the 306 drug stores in the capital and other cities, at least 28 per cent were running without registering with the DDA. Thirty-two per cent of chemists were not in the store while the inspection took place.

A total of 52 stores still had banned drugs on display while 54 of them did not have record of the narcotic and psychotropic drugs that were on sale in the store. As per the Drug Act 1978, chemists should be accountable for the drugs being sold in the store.

A total of ninety-nine stores, that is 32 per cent of the drug stores, were ordered to close down due to several reasons. Inadequate human resources to keep track of drug stores, coupled with impunity, might have given the entrepreneurs a sense of freedom to violate the law. The officials at DDA said the chemists were warned before taking any action against. The stores indulging in mal practices have been closed down with the coordination of District Administration Office.

Even the consumers are not aware that they have to purchase medicines from certified stores, said Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, director general of DDA. The inspections were carried out in Sitapaila, Maharajgunj and Chhettrapati.