Kathmandu, October 31
Three tankers loaded with petrol will arrive at Kathmandu from Kyirong of China tomorrow, as only three tankers received refilling facility today. Chief District Officer of Rasuwa, Shiva Ram Gelal has informed that the three fuel tankers that arrived at Rasuwagadhi customs point will be dispatched for Kathmandu early tomorrow morning.
Nepal has sent 12 tankers having 12 kilolitres capacity to Kyirong in the first lot to bring fuel from China. The Chinese side permitted only three tankers to enter China to refill today as only a few tankers arrived at Kyirong from Lhasa. China is providing loading facility to Nepali tankers from Kyirong, which lies at a distance of 26 km from Nepali border point at Rasuwagadhi. Nepali customs at Rasuwagadhi has been asked to dispatch all the remaining nine tankers for Kyirong tomorrow as fuel tankers of China will be reaching Kyirong by tonight. Snowfall in the morning had affected the movement of tankers in the Chinese side, as per Gelal.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) team has also reached Kyirong to facilitate the Nepali tankers to receive the load. NOC Spokesperson Deepak Baral said that the China-granted 1,000 tonnes of petrol will be transported within one week.
NOC has kept over 100 tankers on standby for dispatch to Kyirong to bring China-donated fuel. It has said that it will store petrol brought from China at the Thankot depot and it will be distributed to the fuel stations of Kathmandu Valley at the existing market price. Currently, private vehicles are barred from purchasing fuel in Kathmandu. After retracting the refilling facility for private vehicles on October 1, the ban was relaxed on October 13 for one day to ease the mobility of people during the Dashain festival.
The ongoing fuel crisis has made life difficult across the country and economic activities have virtually come to a standstill since last month.
Even as the movement of vehicles laden with fuel and essentials is still low compared to normal times, Indian customs at various border points have started dispatching more trucks and tankers to Nepal compared to the last few weeks.
Today, Jogbani customs dispatched 25 fuel tankers. It had also dispatched 17 gas bullets yesterday, as per Krishna Basnet, chief of the Biratnagar Customs Office. Each bullet can refill 1,250 cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Likewise, Sunauli Customs Office of India dispatched 22 fuel tankers and two LPG bullets today, according to Lavanya Dhakal, chief of Bhairahawa Customs Office. Similarly, Rupedia customs point of India dispatched three diesel tankers and four aviation turbine fuel tankers to Nepal, informed Rajendra Hamal, chief of the Nepalgunj Customs Office. The major trade route Birgunj (Raxaul) continues to remain obstructed by the Tarai-based political parties.
A version of this article appears in print on November 01, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.