Kathmandu, October 29
Nepal will be dispatching fuel tankers to Kyirong of China tomorrow to bring in petrol that China has given in the form of grant assistance.
The Chinese side today asked Nepal Oil Corporation to send tankers to bring 1,000 tonnes of petrol that the Chinese government is providing as grant assistance to fuel-strapped Nepal to ease the crippling fuel shortage caused by vehicular obstruction on the Nepal-India border.
The shortage of petroleum products has hit the Nepalese economy very hard and brought many economic activities to a grinding halt for the past month.
NOC Spokesperson Deepak Baral today said NOC officials will also be going to Kyirong to facilitate loading and customs clearance for the Nepali fuel tankers.
“We will dispatch 12 tankers tomorrow and they will enter Nepal on Sunday,” Baral said, adding, “As the Chinese side has informed us that they will refill our tankers from their tankers, we will send about 115 tankers, each with a capacity of 12 kilolitres.”
NOC has said the 1.3 million litres petrol that will be brought from China will be distributed in the Valley from all the fuel stations at the existing market price. NOC will issue notice regarding details of the date of distribution. Initially, the fuel will be stored at NOC’s Thankot depot.
Likewise, dealers are preparing to distribute cooking gas in the Valley in a day or two. All gas bottlers who have circulated their cylinders in the Valley will dispatch cylinders to the market. Considering the scarcity of cooking gas, the government has instructed bottlers to send only half the volume of gas for now. This means consumers will get 7.1 kg gas in their cylinders and they will have to pay only Rs 700 per cylinder.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies today instructed gas bottlers and dealers to distribute half-cylinder gas with the aim of distributing gas to more people,” said Chandra Bahadur Thapa, general secretary of Gas Dealers Federation Nepal (GFDN), adding, “We will start distribution in a day or two.”
It has been reported that 112,500 cylinders with 7.1 kg gas will be distributed in Kathmandu Valley. GFDN has said cylinders collected for refilling have piled up for a long time and it will take some time to meet the demand and so the shortage is likely to continue for some time.
The government has also asked Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology and the Department of Commerce and Supply Management to monitor bottling plants to check if they have refilled the volume as instructed.
IOC refills all Nepali tankers
KATHMANDU: All Indian Oil Corporation depots refilled the tankers sent from Nepal for the third consecutive day on Thursday. IOC provides gasoline to Nepali tankers from its Barauni, Gonda, Betalpur, Siliguri and Banthara depots.
NOC’s Central Region Chief and Amlekhganj Depot Head Bhanubhakta Dhakal informed that IOC officials asked him on Thursday to dispatch sufficient tankers for refilling and pledged to provide increased load considering the crippling fuel shortage in Nepal.
“We have a four-decade-old agreement with Nepal. Supplies declined in the past month as a few of the routes were blocked. We hope to increase supply once protests subside,” the Business Standard newspaper quoted IOC Chairman and Managing Director B Ashok as saying.
IOC has assigned Barauni depot instead of Raxaul depot to refuel Nepali tankers citing security reasons after Tarai-based parties staged a sit-in near Birgunj border.-HNS
A version of this article appears in print on October 30, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.
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