Supplies of petro products stifled by tanker drivers' strike

KATHMANDU, JUNE 16: Supplies of petroleum products in the Kathmandu Valley have been hampered by the protest by the Nepal Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association. The Association has launched a strike, presenting a seven-point demand.

According to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Executive Director Dr. Chandika Prasad Bhatta, the NOC is in touch with the protesting side, and a conclusion is expected by tonight. The dialogue between the two sides is scheduled to take place today at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies.

According to the Association, tanker drivers have been denied the required facilities for a long time, and their frequent appeals have remained unaddressed, forcing them to launch the strike. The demands include appointment letters as ensured by the Labour Act, remunerations as fixed by the government, risk allowance, safety alert training every three months, and their involvement in the social security fund.

The Association stated that on June 11, it had sent its appeal to the NOC, warning of protest programs if the demands were not addressed within the next few days. However, the Essential Commodities Control (Authorization) Act, 2017 (1961), identifies petroleum products as essential commodities, prohibiting the obstruction of their supplies meant for general use.