Gas dealers shelve agitation

Kathmandu, August 27:

The Gas Dealers’ Association of Nepal (GDAN) postponed its protest programmes for 15 days today after Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) promised to ease fuel supply by September.

As part of its protest, the association padlocked all godowns of gas industries in the capital yesterday and today. It gheraoed the NOC today. The association shelved its protest programmes after NOC promised to do its bit to import required quantity of fuel by September.

The gas dealers’ association had planned to seize all gas tankers from Sunday to pressure the government and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to ease supply of cooking gas.

GDAN general secretary Gyaneshwor Aryal said they had unlocked godowns

and postponed the plan to seize gas tankers from Sunday. “It is not that we have put an end to our protest; we have merely postponed it for 15 days.”

We have given an ultimatum to the NOC to import 12,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products within a month and 6,000 metric tonnes within 15 days, Aryal said.

We will call off the protest if the NOC manages to import 6,000 metric tonnes of fuel within 15 days, he said. “Otherwise, we will give continuity to our agitation.”

He added that GDAN had invited all gas dealers in the capital on Saturday to decide future course of action.

The fuel crisis has been persisting because of a meagre supply in July, said NOC spokesperson Mukunda Dhungel. He added that the NOC was holding consultations with the Indian Oil Corporation to increase fuel supply from this month.

“Hopefully, we will be able to import 11,000 metric tonnes of cooking gas in September,” Dhungel said.

According to the NOC, the average per month demand of cooking gas is 8,000 metric tonnes, but in July only 4,450 metric tonnes of gas was imported.

The import has increased this month, with NOC importing 6,000 metric tonnes of cooking gas as of August 26.