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Govt, transporters fail to strike agreement


As an indefinite public transport strike affected normal life across the country on the first day on Friday, a second round of talks between agitating transporters and the government ended

inconclusively. The agitating transporters have said the strike would continue until the government fulfils their demands, that include the government taking back its decision to allow traffic police to fine motorists. Minister for Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management Hridayesh Tripathi said they “generously” heard the transporters during the talks. “If the strike continues despite our request to call it off, we will act against the strike enforcers,” he said.

In the talks, representatives of transport workers’ associations were mainly against the authority given to the traffic police to fine motorists Rs 200-Rs 1,000. Following the decision, traffic police personnel are receiving 15 percent commission from the fine charged, which according to transport associations, has created “anomalies on the roads.”

“Our main demand is that the authority given to the traffic police must be withdrawn at the earliest,” said Ajay Kumar Rai, the president of Nepal Yatayat Mazdoor Sangh. He said that with the government providing the commission, traffic police personnel have been conducting “unnecessary checks” on the roads and troubling transport workers.

Transport entrepreneurs and workers jointly called the strike with a 15-point charter of demands, which include forming a separate transport management ministry, strict implementation of insurance policy and formation of a high-level committee to recommend reforms in the transport sector. Transporters said they have no other choice but to go on with the strike as the government is “not showing seriousness” in addressing their demands.

The ministry is likely to call another round of talks with the transporters on Saturday.

Transport entrepreneurs and workers are also set to hold a meeting on Saturday and seek ways to intensify their protest programmes.

President of the National Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs Yogendra Karmacharya said the government team did not seem to concentrate on their problems. “The Ministry’s Secretary Tulasi Situala has assured another meeting on Saturday,” he said.

The National Federation of Nepalese Transport Entrepreneurs, All Nepal Transport Workers Association, Nepal Yatayat Mazdoor Sangh and Nepal Transport Independent Workers’ Association have joined hands in calling the strike. The Federation Truck, Tanker and Transport Entrepreneurs-Nepal is also backing the protest.

Meanwhile, the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal on Friday demanded the government take action against the transport entrepreneurs and workers. It said the strike was called “for their illogical demands” and that it affected consumers’ rights.

“The government should not address their demands, but take action against the transport institutions and individuals calling the strike,” said Jyoti Baniya, the general secretary of the forum.

 Transport strike hits normal life across country  

 Minister Tripathi talks of action against ‘enforcers’

The demands

•    Doing away with traffic authority to fine motorists

•    Separate transport management ministry

•    Strict implementation of insurance policy

•    Formation of high-level committee to recommend reforms in transport sector

LPG talks make no headway

KATHMANDU: Nepal LPG Industry Association (NLPGIA) and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) have agreed to continue talks on Saturday after Friday’s meeting ended without making any headway.

“We have agreed to hold another round of the talks on Saturday afternoon,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, senior vice president of NLPGIA. As per their phased agitation, the bottlers association has threatened to stop LPG supply from August 15 if their demands are not met.

In their 16-point charter of demands, the association has asked the government to guarantee a commission not less than five percent of the total price of LPG and withdraw a decision to enforce dual cylinders—red and blue—for general and commercial purposes. (PR)

Posted on: 2012-08-11 08:33