Kathmandu, February 2 Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) is set to begin an international standard calibration service for petroleum tankers and other tankers in Nepal from mid-March. Bishwobabu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM, said that a high-tech calibration unit is being set up in Hetauda to effectively implement the government-set calibration standards. Calibration refers to the process of determining the measurement accuracy of instruments that may alter in due course of time. In the absence of an effective calibration service from the government, domestic tankers carrying petroleum products to the country are calibrated in India, while a majority of other tankers are not calibrated at all. Moreover, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) does not recognise Nepali calibrations of tankers due to the inefficient calibrating system in the country. “The construction of a high-tech calibration unit in Hetauda is underway. We are expecting to start operating it within mid-March,” Pudasaini said, adding that NBSM would strictly implement calibration standards of oil tankers once the calibration unit starts functioning. The Standard Measurement and Weight Act, 1968, of the government has a provision whereby all commercially operated measurements, including fuel-carrying tankers, should be calibrated every year. However, Pudasaini said that only a few petroleum tankers, out of the more than 1,500 such tankers operating in the country, undergo the calibration procedures annually. “As soon as the new calibration unit begins operation, we will strictly implement the calibration standards for petroleum tankers,” Pudasaini said. He further added that effective implementation of calibration standards would facilitate traders and discourage undersupply of petroleum products and faulty calibration, which was rampant a few years ago. In 2013, a government monitoring found that a majority of oil tankers assigned to supply fuel from Barauni to Nepal had faulty calibration. Moreover, domestic petroleum dealers have been questioning the calibration of IOC time and again citing that they receive over 50 litres less fuel with every consignment. “Operation of international standard calibration unit within the country is good. As soon as it starts functioning, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) should initiate bilateral talks with IOC for Nepali calibrations to be recognised,” an official of Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association said. Meanwhile, Bhanubhakta Khanal, spokesperson for NOC, said that the issue of calibration is solely related to NBSM. “NBSM should propose to its counterpart agency in India to give recognition to Nepali calibrations,” he said.