NOC mulling alternative to fickle private tankers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 25, 2018-

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has been mulling to optimise its distribution networks following frequent strikes by private oil tankers putting forth various demands. On Monday, the state-owned oil monopoly formed a committee to study the possibility of operating oil tankers on its own or optimising the distribution networks of the security agencies. Last week’s strike by oil tankers and resultant disruption to fuel supplies was the last straw for NOC and the government.

Gasoline has been in short supply in the Kathmandu Valley for the past few days after tanker operators went on strike to express solidarity with the protest launched by public transport entrepreneurs. Last week, the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Association (FNNTEA) demonstrated against the amended Criminal Code that mandates life imprisonment with confiscation of property in case of death in accidents caused with deliberate intent.

NOC spokesperson Birendra Kumar Goit said the NOC board decided on Sunday to form a committee under Director General Yogendra Gauchan of the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest. Goit and Joint Secretary Nava Raj Dhakal of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies are among the members of the panel.

Goit said the team would examine the feasibility of using government controlled trucks to transport fuel. “The panel will discuss the number of tankers to be used, appointment of drivers, coexistence with privately run tankers and maintenance of the trucks,” Goit said.

Currently, NOC imports fuel using 1,800 tankers owned by the private sector and pays their operation costs. NOC’s plan to operate fuel tankers will be a temporary measure, said officials. The Amlekhgunj-Motihari oil pipeline is undergoing construction, and when it is completed, oil tankers will become redundant, they said.

Published: 25-09-2018 08:50

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