Irregularities rife in fuel distribution
Dhangadhi, December 4
Irregularities have been reported in fuel distribution by petrol pumps in the far western districts of the country.
According to sources, though petroleum products are distributed to consumers in coordination with district administration office, more than 50 per cent of the fuel is distributed to ‘people with connections’ on the recommendation of the government offices.
Petrol pump owners complained that they were compelled to distribute more fuel to the kin of staffers at the District Administration Office, District Police Office, Head of different departments, Nepal Oil Corporation office, District Agriculture Development Office, among others. Hence, only ‘people with connections’ have been getting fuel in time of crisis.
Those without connections have no option but to return empty handed.
Khagendra Pathak, a petrol pump owner in Kailali, said this has caused a great difficulty to the locals. Even farmers have not been able to plough their fields for want of diesel, he said.
“We have not been able to sow wheat due to the shortage of diesel though we have been staying in queue for more than a week,” lamented Chandra Bahadur Bohara, a farmer of Gadariya, Kailali. He accused the authorities of encouraging black-marketing of petroleum products.
Shiva Raj Bhandari, spokesperson at Dhangadhi regional office of Nepal Oil Corporation, however, said they issued recommendations only to emergency vehicles and VIPs. “However, we have been issuing only a few recommendations after complaints from the locals,” Bhandari argued.
Uday Bahadur Singh, Spokesperson for the District Administration Office, Kailali, said, “We are very cautious while issuing recommendations,” said Singh.
Above 40 per cent farmers in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts have yet to plough their fuelds due to acute shortage of fuel, according to Far Western Regional Agriculture Directorate.