0628 GMT October 18, 2019
“The government has decided to limit the number of vehicles moving across the country due to the fuel shortage,” AFP quoted Nepal’s Home Ministry spokesman, Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, as saying on Sunday.
The decision is as an attempt to use fuel “effectively” at a time that Nepal is “facing a huge problem because of the blockade in the south,” he added.
The new measure stipulated an alternate-day driving system, that would allow vehicles on the road based on the ending digit of their license plates, an even or an odd number.
The development came after protesters, who are seeking changes to a new controversial constitution, blocked a major trading checkpoint between India and Nepal earlier this week.
The checkpoint, which is located in the Nepalese border town of Birgunj, serves as the key hub for oil and food imports into the landlocked Himalayan nation.
On September 16, Nepal’s parliament overwhelmingly passed the long-delayed contentious law to restructure the country as a federal state made up of seven provinces.
However, the new charter, which came into force on September 20, sparked violent demonstrations.
Over 40 people have lost their lives in weeks of clashes between police and protesters who say the new internal borders discriminate against the country’s historically marginalized communities.
The new constitution was a condition of a 2006 peace deal with Maoists rebels, which brought an end to a 10-year civil war that killed some 17,000 people in the country of nearly 28 million people, divided among over 100 ethnic groups and many castes.