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Distribution of half-filled cooking gas cylinders begins today

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu

Oct 31, 2015-

Consumers can purchase half-filled cooking-gas cylinders from Saturday, LPG bottlers have said.

The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday had decided to allow bottling companies to distribute half-filled cylinders (7.1kg) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The bottlers plan to distribute 78,000 half-filled cylinders to consumers reeling under an acute cooking-gas shortage due to India’s unofficial trade embargo on Nepal for the past month.

Nepal LP Gas Industry Association said some dealers started to sell the cooking gas from Friday amid overwhelming crowds at gas depots.

The gas supplied by five bottlers, including Everest Gas and Salt Trding Corporation, was sold out on Friday, said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of the association. “The move to start the sales a day earlier was also aimed at controlling duplication of sales,” he said.

The crowd at Everest Gas distribution depot at Chanlakhel, Kathmandu, was so huge that the police had to charge batons to keep the situation under control.

Ghimire said the government’s move to allow the bottlers to sell half-filled cylinders would help them distribute the gas to more people. “It will ease the distribution at a time when we are facing immense pressure to meet the demand,” he said.

Meanwhile, the LPG dealers said they would selling the gas with the help of the local administration.

Chandra Thapa, general secretary of Gas Dealers’ Federation, said would keep the details of the buyers to prevent any duplication of sales. “As most of the dealers have records of their regular customers, they track customers to whom they sold the product,” he said.

Thapa said some of the bottlers have already refilled their plants, while the bullets meant for many others are on the way. “That’s why we cannot say when the bottlers would send their products,” he said.

A total of 225 gas bullets have been stuck on the Indian side of the border due to the blockade, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). Most of them have been stuck at Raxaul-Birgunj border point.

However, after the government started to re-route the LPG bullets through alternative bordering points, a limited number of bullets are entering Nepal.

Published: 31-10-2015 08:50

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