Tanker drivers resume fuel transportation


Petrol fillers in public pumps in Kathmandu on Monday. Due to the strike of the petrol transport workers, none of the petroleum products was distributed from private petrol pumps. Photo: Bikash Dware/TRN

By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, June 18: An agreement has been reached between the government and the protesting Nepal Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association to transport petroleum products.

The agitating tanker drivers, who transport petroleum products, have suspended their protest after a decision was made to form a committee to study the demands of the agitating drivers in a discussion held with the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies on Monday.

The 4-point agreement between the Corporation and the NPTDA was signed by the managing director of NOC Dr. Chandika Prasad Bhatta and NPTDA President Ishwor Lama on behalf of their respective institutions.

According to the agreement, a study committee will be formed under the chairmanship of Birendra Goit, Deputy Managing Director of NOC, and this committee will submit its report within 15 days. 

Based on the report, it has been agreed that the Corporation will address the genuine demands raised by the tanker drivers.

As per the agreement, the NOC has promised to provide the wages and facilities to the tanker drivers and helpers as well as the workers working in the area in line with the facilities provided to the entrepreneurs of this sector, said Manoj Kumar Thakur, spokesperson of NOC.

The Association stopped the transportation of petroleum products from Sunday.

Supplies of petroleum products in the Kathmandu Valley have been hampered due to the protest of the Nepal Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association since Sunday. 

The agitating drivers launched their protests alleging that the government was not ready to heed their seven-point demands.

The workers have demanded that all the tanker drivers/helpers be given appointment letters as per the Labour Act and paid salary as prescribed by the government of Nepal.

They have demanded to cancel the double bank guarantee and annual renewal, which is applied only in the case of self-employment.

They have also demanded that the temperature should be properly managed, they should be covered under the social security fund, risk allowance should be arranged for drivers and helpers, and safety training should be arranged for drivers and helpers every three months.

After the fuel supply was hampered, there was a long queue of vehicles in front of the pubic petrol pumps from Monday morning.

Apart from Sajha, Nepal Police, Armed Police and Nepal Army, other pumps could not get fuel on Sunday and Monday due to protest of tankers drives, said Thakur.

Most of the pumps in the private sector were closed on Monday due to lack of fuel. Even though the Sajha, Nepal Police, Armed Police and Nepali Army took the load of fuel and distributed it, there were big queues of consumers at those pumps.

Spokesperson Thakur said that with the agreement between the two parties, the drivers resumed the transportation of petroleum products from 2:30 pm on Monday.

"With the resumption of fuel transportation, the supply of petroleum products, especially diesel and petrol, has been eased in Kathmandu Valley from Monday evening,” he said.

He said that the Corporation distributed about 3,000 kiloliters of diesel and petrol each on Monday. 

Normal daily demand for petrol and diesel stands at around 700 kl and 800 kl respectively in Kathmandu Valley.  

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