transport operators in Biratnagar defy banda

- ABDhESH KUMAR JHA, Morang

Nov 5, 2015-

Transport entrepreneurs and workers have resumed public transport services in Biratnagar on Wednesday, defying the protracted banda enforced by various Madhes-based parties. The public vehicles starting plying the roads in the area after 83 days of Madhes banda.

The transport operators said they put the vehicles back on the road as the continuous strike has severely affected the daily life.

Organising an interaction on Tuesday, they told the banda organisers that they “would risk rather their lives than to die of hunger”.

Inspector Bijaya Shrestha, chief of the District Traffic Police Office in Morang, said that more than 50 passenger buses had left for various destinations from Biratnagar Buspark on Wednesday. Some passenger vehicles also entered the city from various places.

While passenger buses were seen leaving for Dharan and Kakadvitta from

early morning, Kathmandu-bound night buses left Biratnagar in the evening with security escorts.  The resumption of public transportation services has brought great relief to local people.

According to Rajan Kandel, chairman of the Eastern Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association, said some buses also left for Dhankuta, Bhojpur and Sankhuwasabha districts.

The buses set off for the east and north passed through Duhabi for some time in the morning. However, the vehicles changed route later as the protesting Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) activists obstructed vehicular movement there.

Kandel complained that the local administration in Sunsari did not cooperate with the transport entrepreneurs to resume traffic through Duhabi. “Chief District Officer of Sunsari did not heed to our request for security following the disruption in Duhabi,” he said.

Police detained a protester in Biratnagar as he attempted to disrupt traffic near Mahabir Chowk.

Taxis also resumed services at various places in Biratnagar, including Hospital Chowk, Airport, Mahendra Chowk. Auto rickshaws and electric rickshaws have been running in the city since earlier.

According to Kandel, around 600 public vehicles including buses, minibuses, microbuses and taxis operate in Morang district. He said about 3,500 people associated with the transport industry had been greatly affected due to the banda since August 16. About 50 vehicles were vandalised and as many as 50 transport workers injured in the incidents during the banda.

Published: 05-11-2015 08:32

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