LPG dealers up in arms, fear shortage in festivals

Plan to stage sit-in, obstruct supply

Kathmandu, September 22:

The Gas Dealers’ Association of Nepal has announced a protest programme against the Nepal Oil Corporation for not importing adequate amount of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for Dashain.

The GDAN will organise a sit-in protest at NOC on September 25 and 26, seeking to ramp up the import during Dashain. On September 27 they will obstruct the work of NOC and on September 28 they will not let any gas dealer supply LPG throughout the country.

Gyaneshwar Aryal, president of the GDAN, said the NOC had not kept its word to import adequate LPG, adding that the supply had been less than the demand in the past few weeks that will create shortage during Dashain ad Tihar.

The GDAN had organised protest programmes in August, but after an NOC assurance to ease the supply immediately they had called off their protest for 15 days starting August 27.

Maheshwor Ghimire, Gas Dealers’ Association of Nepal advisor, said the NOC claim that the import was adequate was false.

He said though the supply was around 400 metric tonnes per day from Barauni for a few days, the current daily import was less than 250 metric tonnes, which is far short of the demand.

The Nepal Oil Corporation has imported 6,800 metric tonnes of LPG from September 1 to 22, but the minimum demand is 8,000 metric tonnes per month.

Ghimire said LPG demand witnessed a two-fold increase during Dashain and Tihar. “We have been facing problems while dealing with the customers,” he added.

However, NOC spokesperson Mukunda Dhungel said 450 metric tonnes of LPG was being loaded from Barauni and the shortage was due to the transport strike in Tarai.