Fuel flow from India increases

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 13, 2015-

In a sign of easing restrictions on Nepal-bound cargoes, more trucks entered the country through three border points on Monday.

There was a rise in cargo movement from three transit points—Kakadvitta, Sunauli and Jogbani—on Monday with around 60 fuel tankers entering into Nepal along with a number of cargo trucks. However, the Birgunj-Raxaul border point, the busiest customs in the country, has remained obstructed due to protests by the Madhesi parties for the past 19 days.

Customs officials said the Sashastra Seema Bal that had been creating hassles for Nepal-bound carriers is now allowing trucks to cross the border without delay. According to them, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) too has increased fuel supply to the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

NOC officials said they have sent 196 tankers to IOC depots in India after the Indian supplier assured of increased supplies. This is the first time since India imposed an “unofficial blockade” three weeks ago that the NOC sent a large number of tankers across the border for loading fuel.

The Bhairahawa-Sunauli border point, which remained obstructed for a week, resumed on Monday. Four fuel tankers and three LP gas bullets entered Nepal through the pass by the evening.

Transportation resumed via the Biratnagar-Jogbani border point on Monday evening. It had been shut since Saturday owing to the protest by Madhes-based parties. Trucks carrying raw materials started coming in from the evening.

According to Dhruba Sigdel, first vice-president of the Purbanchal Petroleum Transport Entrepreneurs’ Association, 54 tankers that were stranded at the Barauni depot since last week had got their loads.

According to our correspondent in Kakadvitta, 24 fuel tankers entered on Monday. Customs officer Dipendra Jha said around 100 trucks and containers carrying various goods also made through the eastern border point.

Twenty-six diesel tankers entered from the Nepalgunj-Rupaidiha border point that was cleared on Sunday. Banke Chief District Officer Bed Prakash Lekhak said there was no obstruction from the Indian side.

According to Nepalgunj Customs Office, a total of 68 fuel tankers entered in the past couple of days. These included 11 bullets of cooking gas and five tankers of air turbine fuel. Eleven tankers of diesel and two bullets of gas were sent to Kathmandu.

With obstruction continuing in Birgunj, NOC spokesperson Deepak Baral said they plan to ferry fuel from the points other than Birgunj to normalise fuel supply in Kathmandu. “We will also use the NOC stock to increase distribution, especially for Dashain,” said Baral.

NOC is distributing fuel to private vehicles, after a long gap, in Kathmandu on Tuesday. NOC plans to distribute 600 kilolitres of fuel through 125 pumps in the Valley. 

(With inputs from our district correspondents)

Published: 13-10-2015 08:37

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