Police to escort in oil tankers

Kathmandu, March 12:

Security agencies will escort the tankers bringing petroleum products from Raxaul to Kathmandu tomorrow.

A meeting of government agencies, Nepal Oil Corporation( NOC) and representatives of security agencies in Hetauda today decided to rush the oil tankers to the capital under police escort, said NOC deputy managing director Bachhu Kumar Kafle told The Himalayan Times from Hetauda.

Due to the ongoing Terai bandh called by the Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee since the last 11 days, the valley has run out of petroleum products — especially petrol — leaving the government no option but bring in the oil tankers under police escort. “To ensure smooth supply of petroleum products in the capital, we have decided to escort the oil tankers that are ready to move from Raxual,” he said adding that the tankers will start tomorrow evening and reach the valley the day after.

According to NOC, the current of stock of diesel is sufficient for another 15 days, kerosene for a month but stock of petrol is diminishing by the day.

While the stock of other petroleum products — cooking gas and diesel — is also diminishing, the petrol scarcity has become acute. Only the institutional petrol pumps — like those of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Sajha Yatayat — are distributing petrol in the capital, with long queues in front of these 10 petrol pumps. There are 114 retail dealers in the valley and the nationwide count stands at 2,403.

NOC has halted the distribution of petroleum products to private petrol pumps since Monday due to low stock. It has a cumulative storage capacity of 71,742.3 kl of petroleum products that last for a month only. It has storage capacity of 6,300 kl of diesel and kerosene each and 7,640 ATFs in the capital.