Nepal | July 11, 2020

NOC dispatches fuel exceeding daily demand

Himalayan News Service
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PANIC BUYING? Two-wheeler riders queuing up to fill petrol at a pump run by the Nepali Army in Bhadrakali, Kathmandu, on Wednesday. Photo: THT

PANIC BUYING? Two-wheeler riders queuing up to fill petrol at a pump run by the Nepali Army in Bhadrakali, Kathmandu, on Wednesday. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, September 23

Nepal Oil Corporation today distributed more fuel in Kathmandu Valley, as panic buyers queued in front of petrol stations fearing shortage of petroleum products.

“We dispatched 450,000 litres of petrol and 500,000 litres of diesel this evening to cater to the growing demand for petroleum products,” NOC spokesperson Dipak Baral said.

The daily demand for petrol and diesel stands at around 300,000 litres, and 350,000 litres, respectively, in the Valley. The supply of petrol made today by NOC is 50 per cent more than the daily demand, while that of diesel is around 43 per cent more.

“We urge motorists and drivers of two-wheelers not to worry, as we have enough stock of petroleum products to fulfil the demand for next 10 days. Besides, supply of petroleum products from India has not dried,” Baral said.

Motorists and drivers of two-wheelers started thronging petrol stations yesterday afternoon after rumours about Indian economic blockade on Nepal spread like wildfire. Situation further worsened yesterday after Indian customs officials took additional time to clear Nepal-bound vehicles loaded with petroleum products.

“There was a bit of confusion yesterday. But we didn’t face any problem at Indian customs points today,” said Baral, adding, “Since the morning, 23 tankers containing aviation fuel, 12 tankers loaded with petrol and 15 tankers containing diesel have entered Nepal from India.” NOC, however, did not receive any LPG today due to congestion at the Indian side of the border.

Around 200 bullets of cooking gas — each bullet is equivalent to 1,250 cylinders of cooking gas — have arrived at Raxaul, which borders Birgunj, according to Baral. “But the vehicles could not enter Nepal today because of 40-km long queue of cargo vehicles on the border.” Many cargo vehicles bound for Nepal are stranded in Raxaul because of ongoing protests in the Tarai.

“Owners of bottling plants are heading for Birgunj tomorrow to sort out the problem,” Baral said, adding, “They will also hold talks with Indian transporters who ferry liquefied petroleum gas to Nepal.”

Currently, Nepali gas bottling plants rely on Indian truck drivers for transportation of cooking gas from refineries of the Indian Oil Corporation. However, lately, many Indian transporters have expressed reluctance to travel to Nepal due to protests in the Tarai.

If this problem is not addressed as soon as possible, more consumers will start hoarding cooking gas, which will only exacerbate the problem.

A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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