Ministry terms fuel crisis an ‘emergency’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 29, 2015-

The Home Ministry on Monday said the country faces an ‘emergency’ in fuel supply. With India imposing an unofficial embargo on Nepal by blocking the supply of fuel along with other essentials, a fuel crisis has gripped the country for the past few days.

Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, spokesman for the ministry, said they imposed a quota in fuel distribution with the looming fuel shortage. “The home minister has intervened in the supply of petroleum products,” he said.

With depleting fuel stocks in the country, the ministry since Monday has imposed a quota on the distribution of petrol and diesel. The government has also introduced odd-even rationing of vehicles on the street to minimise fuel consumption.

Gopal Bahadur Khadka, managing director at the Nepal Oil Corporation, said they are distributing the products in coordination with the Home Ministry. According to him, the NOC distributed 108 kilolitre petrol and 240kl diesel on Monday. The quantity is almost half of what the NOC supplied on a normal day.

The NOC distributed diesel through 60 pumps while it sold petrol through 11 stations run by the state, police and the Army. As a result of the shortage, public vehicles were seen overcrowded while there was a long queue of vehicles in front of petrol pumps.

The NOC decision not to supply petroleum products to private pumps has drawn criticism from private dealers. “The state-owned oil monopoly has refused to consult with the private sector on fuel distribution,” said Lilendra Prasad Pradhan, president of Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association.

The shortage of petroleum products and cooking gas has been acute in the past week after the Indian side restricted fuel shipment citing “insecurity” in Nepal.

Khadka said a total of 217 cooking gas bullets and 194 oil tankers were stuck on the Indian side with the fuel load. As many as 151 tankers were unable to collect fuel from the Indian Oil Corporation depots.

Published: 29-09-2015 09:14

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