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Tanker drivers’ protest affects petroleum supply

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

The Association has launched a strike, putting forth a seven-point demand. 

According to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) executive director Dr Chandika Prasad Bhatta, it is in touch with the agitating side and a conclusion is expected by tonight. 

It has been reported that a dialogue between the two sides has been scheduled today at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies. 

As the Association said, tanker drivers have been denied the required facilities for a long and their frequent calls towards that end have remained unaddressed, forcing them to launch the strike.  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 are among the demands put forth by the Association. 

The Association said it had, on June 11, sent its appeal to the NOC, warning of the protest programs if the demands were not addressed by the next few days. 

However, the Essential Commodities Control (Authorization) Act, 2017 (1961), has identified petroleum products as essential commodities, prohibiting the obstruction of their supplies meant for general use.