Entrepreneurs buying fuel in black-market

Rautahat, January 5

With the crippling shortage of fuel, transport entrepreneurs have been compelled to buy petroleum products from the black-market at Chandranigahapur in Rauthat.

The entrepreneurs complained that they were facing problems operating the vehicles as petrol and diesel were not easily available along the East-West Highway road section.

Acute shortage of fuel has crippled the country due to the protracted Tarai agitation that is now in its fifth month.

Vice-chairman Sanjaya Prasad Sha of Raj Devi Transport Entrepreneur Association said transport entrepreneurs had continued to provide service to the public despite having to procure fuel from the black-market. “The adulterated fuel bought at a high price has been damaging our vehicles,” he added.

He said as many as three vehicles had gone dysfunctional due to use of adulterated fuel, and it cost them more than three lakh rupees to repair the vehicles.

Many day and night buses operating from Gaur, Rautahat have been affected due to this.

Similar is the plight among operators of Tata Sumo vehicles that ply from Chandranigahapur to Kathmandu.

Operator of Shikharpur Transport Ganga Lama said various problems were seen in the vehicles due to the use of impure fuel. “We have no option but to operate vehicles at any cost,” he added.

He argued that the current crisis had forced the country into black-marketing. “The state ought to pay attention to providing better service to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rautahat Chief District Officer Narahari Baral attributed the increasing black-marketing to the state’s apathy to ease the supply of fuel.

He informed that the administration had recommended Amlekhgunj-based depot to provide necessary fuel to transport entrepreneurs.

Stating that some petrol pumps in Rautahat were distributing fuel with the help of security personnel, he expressed indifference towards the need to buy fuel in the black-market.