Kathmandu, September 6
Kathmandu Valley has started witnessing shortage of liquefied petroleum gas, commonly known as cooking gas, due to low supply of the commodity as gas bullets dispatched to Nepal are stranded at the Nepal-India border along with other trucks and containers due to the strikes in the tarai. Consumers can be seen queueing for gas cylinders in front of cooking gas depots these days.
Consumers will be hit hard due to the shortage of cooking fuel in the festive season across the country if smooth supply cannot be ensured, according to Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association. “Each bottling plant has to refill and dispatch at least 15,000 cylinders immediately to meet the market demand,” he said. There are 53 gas bottling plants in the country.
Ghimire further said that if cylinders collected for refilling purpose are piled up for a longer time then it will take even more time to fulfil the demand and create a shortage. “The situation could worsen because consumers could start hoarding cylinders and it would be difficult for bottlers and dealers to manage the situation.”
It has been reported that due to the ongoing protests in the tarai, there is a 42-km long queue of trucks, containers, tankers and gas bullets dispatched to Nepal in Raxaul of India. As per Ghimire, about 150 gas bullets are stranded at various border points. A bullet of cooking gas is equal to 1,250 cylinders and monthly consumption of cooking gas stands at 1.5 million cylinders in the country.
However, the government has said that there will not be a shortage of any essential commodity and has appealed to consumers not to hoard gas cylinders citing hoarding of the commodity hampers the smooth functioning of the market.
Naindra Upadhyay, secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, informed that the government has been supplying essential commodities by escorting trucks and containers with the help of security forces.
A version of this article appears in print on September 07, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.