PALPA, Sept 19: As many as 200 drivers of Palpa handed over copies of their driving license to Chief District Officer (CDO) protesting against the new provisions in the Criminal code and Transportation Act. They have requested the CDO to review the punishment proposed in the newly endorsed laws.
The drivers submitted copies of their license stating that they will not be driving their vehicles from Tuesday. Sharma Prasad Shrestha, coordinator of Nepal Independent Drivers Struggle Committee, Palpa informed that 200 drivers submitted copies of their licenses along with a 13-point demand.
"The government did not formulate policies in our favor. We are not in a situation to continue this profession for our living," said Shrestha, adding, "We want the responsible authorities to review the Civil Code and Transportation Act and make some amendments."
According to him, no one drives their vehicle with the ill intention of killing others but they cannot guarantee it in case of accidents.
"We cannot do this job knowing that somebody else's mistake can lead us to life imprisonment," Shrestha added.
While accepting the memorandum, CDO Manohar Prasad Khanal stated that it is not good to halt public service due to these reasons.
"One has the right to put forward their demands in case of dissatisfaction but they should not halt the service completely," said CDO Khanal. He further said that a program would be conducted to address the issues of drivers and transport entrepreneurs.
The protest of drivers has compelled the locals to wait for hours to reach their destination. As the drivers submitted the keys to the vehicle owners, those who had already bought tickets are the ones to suffer the most. On Monday, 150 passengers who had bought night bus tickets to travel to Kathmandu from Tansen remained stranded due to the protest of drivers.
Later, the drivers started driving after continuous pressure of police.
"Drivers were venting their ire against the committee for distributing tickets. We thought we won't be able to reach our destination on time," said Bhandari.
Though the government has scrapped transport syndicate, vehicles are still operated by Transportation Management Committees. However, such committees are not ready to pay the compensation in case of accidents, which has disappointed the drivers.
"Neither the committees nor the vehicle owners will take the responsibility of accidents. We have no one for help as the government has formulated such strict laws," said Anil Hitang, one of the drivers.
Inspector Amrit Bhandari of Palpa informed that efforts are underway to resolve this problem. Police have been making sure that the passengers who have already bought tickets reach their destinations on time.