Businesses hit hard due to fuel crisis, shortages

Kathmandu, October 28

The ‘unofficial’ border blockade by India has hit the business sector hard. Many industries across the county are on the verge of closure while there is an acute shortage of essentials and petroleum products in the market.

“Vehicles carrying essentials and clothes that have been stuck at the Nepal-India border are yet to make it into the country. Unlike in the past, my business was down during this Dashain,” said Dipak Subedi, who runs a cloth store in the Capital.

Likewise, Shanta Lama of Dolakha, who runs a footpath stall selling grocery items, said that her business is facing a hard time as there is a shortage of food items like noodles and biscuits.

Local traders said that the Valley is reeling under a shortage of essentials like salt, edible oil, pulses and rice, apart from petroleum products and medicines.

A commoner Sabitra Tuladhar, who lives in Anamnagar, said that essentials are scarce to find in the market. “Or else essentials are priced higher than during normal times,” she said.

A cab driver Suresh Thapa of Ramechhap, now living in Koteshwor, said that he was queuing up at Bhadrakali petrol station since the past five days, but is yet to refill his vehicle.

He urged the government to ease the supply of petroleum products as soon as possible.

“We have been queuing up for weeks to get fuel, but to no avail. We would have managed other things on our own if the government would arrange fuel and LPG gas cylinders,” he said.

He shared that he preferred to stay in queue for weeks to using the petroleum products purchased from the peddlers as such fuel was found to have caused damage to the vehicle’s engine due to the adulteration in the fuel.

Spokesperson of Nepal Oil Corporation Deepak Baral argued that the acute shortage of fuel in the country would not be resolved until the issue is addressed at the highest state level.

In the face of the growing fuel crisis, the small and big scale enterprises are bound to be affected adversely.