Fuel crisis: Valley denizens feel the heat

Kathmandu, July 17:

LPG supply to resume from tomorrow.

Shortage of petroleum products has reached a new height in the capital.

Nepal Oil Corporation spokesperson Mukunda Dhungel said NOC distributed only 96 kl of petrol and 132 kl of diesel in the capital today, whereas the normal daily demand here is 250 kl of petrol, 300 kl of diesel and 150 kl of kerosene.

The Bhadrakali Fuel Station of Nepal Army has been distributing only 12-15 kl of petrol and

8 kl of diesel a day, far below the demand.

Mali Oil Store at Kalimati received 3 kl of petrol today while the normal demand at the station is 10 kl a day.

An official at the Thankot depot said, “Only 15 tankers entered the capital today. Once upon a time, the number used to be 60.” Fuel stock at the depot has been limited to 10 per cent of the capacity. The stock cannot be utilised, as it is meant for security and emergency situations, he says.

Dhungel said IOC was supplying only 25 per cent of the normal amount, as the NOC had not been able to pay the dues to the IOC.

He denied any chance of immediate normalcy in fuel supply even as the NOC was talking to banks for funds. He said the Barauni refinery in India had reopened and LPG supply would resume by Saturday.

Traffic policewoman Rupa Rai at Singhadurbar estimated that only half of the total vehicles in the Valley were on the roads. The rest were either garaged or lined up outside fuel stations, he added.

Mahendra Tamang said he had been in queue at Bhadrakali since 7 pm yesterday. Shiva Pokharel lined up for three hours in Baneshwor yesterday only to be told that the station had run out of stock. He then went to Shantinagar station, but to no avail.

Dhan Bahadur Neupane said he had never experienced such a crisis in his entire life. Rambhakta Maske, a driver on Panauti-Kathmandu route, said he would be forced to stop plying bus if the situation persisted for another two days.

Taxi driver Thakur KC said he had to spend the night outside a pump to refuel his taxi.

Kedar Nath Bhandari, however, has decided to switch to electric cycle after facing the hassles in getting petrol for his motorcycle.