Fuel shortages in East as workers protestTwelve districts in the Eastern Region have been facing fuel shortages for the last two days after tanker drivers and petrol pumps workers launched protests against the arrest of their men by Morang Police.
Twelve districts in the Eastern Region have been facing fuel shortages for the last two days after tanker drivers and petrol pumps workers launched protests against the arrest of their men by Morang Police.
The police had a week ago arrested a tanker driver and pump workers from Dhital Petrol Pump based in Kanchanbari, Biratnagar, while they were trying to illegally supply 20,000 litres of diesel to other areas.
Driver Jogindra Chauhan and his helper Bhim Bhadur Majhi and pump workers Bajaru Chaudhari, Ramesh Adhikari and Sitaram Chaudhari were caught red-handed.
The pump’s proprietor Manish Maru, however, has absconded.
On Friday, Morang Chief District Officer Toyam Rayamajhi held a meeting on Friday with the agitating pump workers and drivers and urged them to roll back their protests has the police has been investigating the issue. Although the workers agreed to resume distribution during the meeting, no pumps in the eastern region opened till late Friday. Meanwhile, imports of goods from India through the Biratnagar-Jogbani customs point have been completely halted for the last three days after a bridge at Bathnaha on the Indian side sustained damage. This has affected the Biratnagar Customs Office’s revenue collection.
According to Rajendra Dhungana, a customs official, more than 300 cargo trucks ply the route daily. “However, for the last three days, the movement of trucks has remained negligible,” he said, adding the office used to collect Rs60 million in imports revenue daily.
Imports through the customs point had decreased by more than 50 percent after the April 25 earthquake last year. Imports of items like industrial raw materials, business items and petroleum, among others, had dropped sharply. Due to a significant drop in demand, industries along the Sunshari-Morang Industrial corridor had reduced industrial production.
Industrial activities were further hit from September last year due to India’s trade embargo that lasted for more than four months.