Parked fuel tankers pose risk of highway accidents

Biratnagar, December 26

Roadside parking of tankers ferrying petroleum products for Nepal Oil Corporation’s regional Office in Biratnagar has increased the risk of road accidents in Morang.

Oil tankers are parked on the roadside of the Kanchanbari Chowk-Dairy Farm stretch of the Koshi Highway in Biratnagar Metropolitan City. The section from Kanchanbari Chowk to Milk Farm has been expanded to a six-lane 50 metre wide road where oil tankers are parked on the roadside. The agencies concerned, however, have done nothing to stop the illegal parking.

NOC, Biratangar, maintained that it had been parking its tankers on the roadside as it failed to find any land to be used as parking lot. NOC regional office Chief Bhanu Khanal said, “We have no parking lot for our tankers. Therefore, we park them on the roadside.”

Eastern Regional Petroleum Transportation Entrepreneurs’ Union Chair Gunaraj Niraula said such illegal parking of oil tankers had made the road accident-prone.

The NOC office had built a parking lot following complaints by locals two years ago. However, the parking lot has a capacity to accommodate only 60 tankers, while there are 350 tankers operating on the route. Due to space crunch, 290 tankers are parked on the roadside.

The metropolitan city, the road office, the district traffic police office and the district administration office have, several times, written to the NOC, asking it not to park oil tankers on the roadside. BMC Ward No 4 chair Devendra Pokhrel said preparations were under way to rent guthi land for parking NOC tankers.