Pvt vehicle owners wrestle for fuel

  • Many return empty-handed despite the NOC distributing huge quantities of fuel from Valley depots in 12 days
- Rajesh Khanal, Kathmandu

Oct 14, 2015-

For the first time in 12 days, private vehicles in Kathmandu received fuel on Tuesday with Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) distributing 600,000 litres of petroleum products to gas stations in the Valley.

NOC distributed fuel through 140 refuelling centres in the Valley where a large number of motorists had queued up since Monday evening. However, not all were lucky despite the NOC releasing fuel in quantities much higher than the daily demand—350,000 litres—in the Valley.

Petrol stations received fuel in the range of 3,000-9,000 litres, which was not enough for the vehicles lined up in front of them. With fuel import from India still far from normal, two-wheelers got five litres while four-wheelers received 15 litres.

Due to an unmanaged distribution, many returned empty handed after a daylong wait. While the NOC had announced that distribution would begin at 1pm, motorists had to wait till 4pm for refuelling. Police used force to control the situation at many fuel stations including Harisiddhi Oil Store in Minbhawan. Some of the centres issued coupons for smooth distribution.

Pranab Kharel, a motorist waiting in front of Harisiddhi Oil Store for almost 12 hours, said he got no petrol as the dealer refused to sell fuel after the police charged batons to control the crowd.

Ganesh Shrestha who had been in a queue since Monday evening said the NOC could have managed the distribution properly. “The NOC has to prepare a proper distribution plan when the demand is higher than supply,” said Shrestha.

NOC Deputy Managing Director Shushil Bhattarai admitted that the delay in providing fuel to tankers from its Thankot depot created the chaos. He blamed the delay

for a limited number of tankers available to ferry the fuel from there.

The NOC said it would not be able to distribute fuel to private vehicles immediately due to its depleting stock. “We’ll distribute if there is an improvement in supply,” said Bhattarai. Following India’s “unofficial blockade”, the government has been rationing fuel.

Meanwhile, the NOC on Tuesday permitted the Nepal Airlines Corporation to import air turbine fuel. The NAC has informed the oil monopoly that it could bring 22,000 litres of fuel from Kolkata using its Boeing 757 per flight at a cost of $25,000.

100 fuel tankers enter on Tuesday

On Tuesday, a total of 100 fuel tankers and 20 cooking gas bullets entered the

country via Biratnagar, Kakadvitta and Bhairahawa customs points. Of these,

73 fuel tankers and 15 gas bullets arrived at Biratnagar via Jogbani. While 22

tankers of petroleum products entered via Kakadvitta, five tankers of fuel and

five bullets of liquefied petroleum gas were imported through the Bhairahawa

customs point.

Published: 14-10-2015 08:18

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