Fuel delivery has been disrupted in the Bagmati region, which encompasses the Kathmandu valley, due to a walkout by tanker drivers demanding Covid-19 vaccines.
Following a request from the Nepal Petroleum Tanker Driver Union, no tanker has supplied fuel and diesel from the Nepal Oil Corporation’s provincial depot in Thankot, Kathmandu, since Sunday morning. Tankers delivering petroleum to the Thankot depot from the depots at Amlekhgunj, Bara, and Barauni, India, on the opposite hand.
According to the union’s president, Ishwar Lama, the drivers went on strike because the government did not prioritize their safety, despite the fact that one driver had already died as a result of Covid-19. “Many of our other friends are seriously infected, but the government is completely unaware,” Lama says.
Thankot depot chief Abhishek Thakur says the NOC recognizes their concerns but asks that the necessary supply not be interrupted. Thakur claims that he has already conveyed the drivers’ request to the NOC headquarters and the Ministry of Health.
“We tried every effort feasible, but the government lacks vaccines. As a result, we should not suspend the important service,” he explains.
Binit Mani Upadhya, a spokeswoman for the NOC central office, agrees with Thakur.
The NOC has reportedly commissioned a high-level delegation to hold negotiations and resolve the situation.