Fuel crisis shows no sign of easing

Kathmandu, December 30

As the flow of vehicles from India to Nepal has started to rise in recent weeks, supply of fuel has also increased. Altogether 102 fuel tankers and 22 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bullets entered the country today. Normally, a tanker ferries 20 kilolitres of fuel and an LPG bullet carries 18 tonnes (equivalent to 1,260 cylinders) of fuel.

The country has been reeling under acute shortage of fuel not only due to the border blockade in Birgunj — the major trade route which is still closed — but also due to lack of proper distribution mechanism of available fuel. For example, after an acute shortage of cooking gas, the government allowed gas bottlers to dispatch only half-filled cylinders of cooking gas. This means that if a bottling plant is able to dispatch 1,260 full cylinders from one gas bullet, they can now dispatch 2,520 half-filled cylinders to serve more people.

Similarly, private vehicles have been barred from refuelling facility, and have been getting limited quantity (three to five litres for two-wheelers and 10 to 15 litres for four-wheelers) when Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) distributes fuel. Vehicles of essential services and larger public transportation have been getting refilling facility but the quantity has been limited.

NOC has failed to provide relief to the public by utilising the available fuel by setting up an effective and efficient mechanism.

According to the Bhairahawa Customs Office, 32 fuel tankers and 10 gas bullets entered Nepal today. Keshab Oli, information officer at the Bhairahawa Customs Office, informed that 15 LPG bullets entered the country today.

Likewise, 10 LPG bullets and seven diesel tankers entered Nepal today from Biratnagar. According to Hari Pandey, chief at Dhangadi Customs Office, 12 diesel and five petrol tankers entered from Dhangadi today.

Similarly, 21 fuel tankers and two LPG bullets entered Nepal from Nepalgunj Customs Point and 25 tankers from Mechi

Customs Point, according to the chiefs of Nepalgunj and Mechi Customs Offices.