July 26: Transport entrepreneurs have handed over the keys of their vehicles to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba with a seven-point demand. After they staged a demonstration protest at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu on July 25, they handed over a sample of the vehicles’ keys to the Prime Minister Deuba on Sunday. They handed over the keys through Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kathmandu, Kali Prasad Parajuli.
Entrepreneurs affiliated to the Central Federation of Public Transport have started protests with various demands. Giving an ultimatum till August 8 to fulfill the demand, they have warned of stern protest if their demands are not addressed.
Keshav Nepal, deputy general secretary of the federation, said that since the seven-point demand put forward by them was not addressed, the demo key of the vehicles was submitted. He also said that if their demands are not addressed by August 8, they will cease the transportation movement and will resort to protest.
The main demand put forth by the transportation entrepreneurs since July 8 is that all the drivers, helpers and employees associated with transport sector should be vaccinated against covid-19. Although the government has said that people involved in public transport have been given the vaccination since July 13, the federation says that there has been no satisfactory arrangement for the vaccination. The federation has also demanded that the transportation fares within the states should be adjusted with effect from July as the inter-state fare has been already adjusted.
Similarly, the additional demands of the transport entrepreneurs include solving their problems through monetary policy, provide tax exemption for the duration of the prohibitory period, and to arrange loans/refinancing by keeping the transport sector under the most affected areas. They have also demanded a waiver of renewal fee for the prohibitory period, a halt to the illegal ride-sharing business, adjusting taxi fares, a revision of the insurance policy, an extension of the 20-year term for vehicles and an amendment to the road safety laws.
The transport entrepreneurs had disrupted the traffic by organizing a rally on the roads of Kathmandu last Thursday.