Diesel shortage hits industries in Sunsari-Morang belt
• Production down by 70 per cent • Factories forced to buy fuel in black market
Added At: 2012-04-19 11:33 PM
Last Updated At: 2012-04-19 11:33 PM
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
BIRATNAGAR: More than 650 industries have been affected in the Sunsari-Morang corridor as Nepal Oil Corporation has not been providing diesel to industries for a week.
According to the Morang Trade Union, more than 500 industries in the corridor have to operate generators that run on diesel during load shedding hours. Small industries have been using generators up to 5 KVA and big industries up to 750 KVA. To operate them industries need around 20,000 litres of diesel daily.
Morang Trade Union Chairperson Abinash Bohara said more than load-shedding it’s the NOC’s decision not to provide diesel that had been hitting them. He said, “It’s clear that the government and the NOC are not serious about prosperity and development of the country.” Bohara claimed that the industries had been suffering a daily loss of more than Rs 70 million due to power-cut and diesel shortage. The hardest hit are industries involved in the production of jute, plastic, iron, noodles and soap, along with rice mills. Youth businessman Ramesh Rathi told this correspondent that more than 70 per cent of the production had to be cut, as they could not run factories due to diesel scarcity.
NOC Regional Chief Deepak Baral said budget crunch had hit diesel import from India and they had stopped selling diesel to the industries. He said, “We sell diesel only to the public vehicles and farmers.”
Corporation has been distributing diesel thrice a week to the dealers. Baral said they could provide diesel to the industries once larger amount was imported.
Some traders have been buying diesel in black market, paying Rs 105 for a litre. This, in turn, affects general public, as pump owners prefer selling diesel in black market to industries. Diesel is priced at
Rs 87.50 a litre in Amlekhganj.
According to Biratnagar Regional Office of NOC, there is a demand of 4.50 lakh litres of diesel but only two lakh litres is being imported from Barauni.