Govt mulls setting up automatic fuel pumps

Kathmandu, September 28

The government is preparing to set up automatic fuel pumps in a few places of Kathmandu Valley to address the quality and quantity issues in delivery of petroleum products at fuel stations.

Nepal Oil Corporation has sought technical assistance from its sole supplier — Indian Oil Corporation — to establish automatic fuel pumps in Kathmandu Valley.

According to NOC officials, IOC has also shown willingness to support NOC in this regard.

“We have proposed IOC to provide technical assistance to establish automatic fuel delivering pumps and IOC is quite positive,” NOC Spokesperson Bhanubhakta Khanal told The Himalayan Times, adding that such pumps will be set up at a few places around the Valley in the pilot phase.

Such automatic fuel pumps use ‘pay at the pump’ system, where customers can pay for their fuel by inserting either fuel card or debit/credit card, thereby bypassing the customer’s need to make transactions with pump attendant.

Most importantly, such pumps will display the quality, density, temperature and quantity of the fuel being dispensed, which could put any worries the customer might have in terms of quality and quantity to rest.

“As customers will be refuelling themselves at such pumps and the quality, quantity and other details of fuel being filled will be clearly displayed, there won’t be any concerns of anomalies from the pump attendant or owner,” Khanal added.

NOC also believes that setting up such automatic fuel pumps will help set the standard in distributing fuel to consumers. “Establishing such automatic pumps is not to discourage the existing NOC-authorised private fuel stations.

However, they will be compelled to adopt such technology in due course of time,” Khanal opined. Such automatic pumps will be fully owned by NOC. The state-owned fuel supplier does not have its own fuel station till date.

There are more than 2,500 petrol pumps across the country that are run by private firms after taking authorisation from NOC.

Petroleum dealers have said though introduction of advanced technologies in fuel distribution system is good, NOC should not attempt to displace the existing fuel stations.

“We haven’t been informed by NOC about its plan.

Though a good move, setting up such automatic fuel pumps should not be aimed at displacing the fuel stations that are in operation,” Lilendra Pradhan, president of Petroleum Dealers’ Association of Nepal, said.