Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Govt enforces Essential Services Act
The government can now take stringent action against tanker owners and drivers if the latter refuse to ferry essential goods.
The government on Monday enforced the Essential Services Act (new amendment), which among others, has granted it special authority to intervene with different essential service providers including the private sector to uphold the basic rights of the people, and if deemed necessary, take action against those causing disruption in smooth and regular flow of essential services.
The Act has specified items such as essential goods, telecommunications, drinking water and fuel, among others as essential services.
It has been learnt that the Act was enforced taking into account the problems the government faced in importing and distributing fuel after tanker-owners and drivers foiled the government's efforts to import petroleum products from Birgunj by launching strike and not cooperating with the security authorities. This has caused a massive fuel crisis in most parts of the country.
With the activation of the Act, the government can now take tankers into its control and operate them by hiring drivers of its own after paying compensation to tanker owners

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