-  Saturday 24 October 2020

Fuel shortage in Nepal's capital forces schools to close, public transport to halt

 -  AP

Feb 18 2008, KATMANDU, Nepal - Schools closed, garbage piled up on the streets and many buses stopped running in Nepal's capital Monday because of a fuel shortage caused by a general strike called by ethnic minorities demanding more rights.

Almost all schools in Katmandu and its suburbs were forced to shut because school buses had no fuel to transport students, said Lakchya Bahadur K.C. of the Private and Boarding School Association of Nepal.

"These schools will remain closed as long as the fuel shortage continues," he said Monday.

Trash piled up on street corners after garbage trucks operated by the city stopped running Sunday.

Thousands of vehicles lined up at service stations in hopes of getting fuel.

"I slept in my taxi so that I would get some gasoline when the station opened in the morning," said Laxman Tamang, a taxi driver waiting in line.

Several ethnic rights groups in southern Nepal called the strike last week to demand greater autonomy, more seats in the national legislature and a guaranteed number of representatives in the administration.

State-owned Nepal Oil Corp. has been unable to transport fuel to Katmandu since last week because of the strike.

"The situation is critical and we have almost nothing left," NOC official Ichcha Bikram Thapa said, adding the company has no hope of getting new shipments in the next few days.

Fuel truck drivers have been refusing to drive on highways in southern Nepal out of fear that strike organizers would attack them for defying the strike.

NOC has a monopoly on the import and distribution of all petroleum products in Nepal. All oil and gasoline is imported from India and enters Nepal by road at border crossings in the south.

Source : AP

Other articles by reporter AP

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