Kathmandu, October 31
Consumers queuing for cooking gas cylinders from early morning returned home empty-handed as dealers could not supply LPG cylinders because bottling plants had not dispatched refilled gas cylinders to the depots as pledged earlier.
A meeting of Nepal Oil Corporation, gas bottlers and dealers yesterday had decided to distribute half a cylinder or 7.1 kg LPG. All 16 bottling plants in Kathmandu Valley had pledged to distribute gas through 800 dealers in Kathmandu from today.
As the dealers had circulated this message to consumers, people started queuing up for gas at their nearest depot from early morning.
After bottling plants did not dispatch cylinders to the dealers, Gas Dealers’ Federation Nepal (GDFN) alleged that the plants had sold the cylinders directly instead of sending them to dealers. GDFN also drew the attention of the government to the need to monitor bottling plants to control anomalies.
As per NOC, all gas bottlers in the Valley have received 25 bullets of LPG in the first lot. Each bullet has the capacity to refill 1,250 cylinders. If only half the cylinders are refilled, then 25 bullets translate to 62,500 gas cylinders.
According to GDFN, gas bottlers have been distributing cooking gas from their bottling plants and godowns directly. GDFN accused gas bottlers of breaching agreement. Issuing a press statement, it said that bottling plants have been distributing cooking gas from the plants to save on transportation cost and commission to the dealers, but it would not be possible for all consumers to purchase cooking gas from bottling plants.
“Bottlers will be saving Rs 60 on each cylinder of cooking gas that they have to spend on dealers’ commission and transportation when they distribute directly,” said Gyaneshwor Aryal, former president of GDFN, adding, “They do not care about consumers with whom the dealers have to deal directly.”
However, Nepal LP Gas Industry Association refuted the allegation of dealers. “We failed to dispatch the cylinders today as they are yet to be refilled,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of the association, adding, “We will dispatch all the cylinders refilled with the limited quantity of LPG that bottling plants have received to the dealers by Monday.”
A version of this article appears in print on November 01, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.