Valley getting 4pc of LPG demand

- Rajesh Khanal, Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 22, 2015-

The Kathmandu Valley has been receiving just 4 percent of its cooking gas demand, the Department of Commerce and Supply Management has said.The Valley demands 13,800 tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) per month, according to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).Poor distribution mechanism and obstructions by people living around gas bottling plants are creating difficulties in delivering cooking gas to the Valley, the department said.

It said Nepal has been receiving around 11 percent of its total demand that stands at 23,000 tonnes per month. However, due to transportation problems as a result of Tarai unrest and India’s trade embargo, most of the imported gas goes to Tarai-based bottlers.The government has directed the bottlers to divert 60 percent of the total imports to the Valley.“But disruptions by locals, demanding that the bottlers sell directly to them, have reduced the shipment to the Valley,” said Shambhu Koirala, director general of the department.

In a bid to make the distribution effective, the government on November 2 had asked the bottlers to distribute cooking gas only through their dealers. “However, the bottlers have been failing to do so due to the lack of cooperation by local administration,” he said.Shiva Ghimire, president of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, said the locals had “captured”the entire distribution system in many places. “Traders involved in black-marketeering are using the locals,” he said.

Even the bottlers have been found involved in the illicit trade of cooking gas.

An recent inspection carried out by the department of Dhading-based bottling plants found many of the plants distributing a large number of cooking gas cylinders to depots belonging to their near and dears.Chandra Thapa, general secretary of the Gas Dealers’ Federation, said consumers were suffering due to ineffective distribution mechanism. The demand for cooking gas generally increases by 30-40 percent during winter.

Gas dealers handed over to police

The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) on Sunday handed over two dealers of Salt Trading Corporation from Jungekhola, Dhading, to the police on charge of black-marketeering of cooking gas. The depots are New Ujjwal and Prajjwal Enterprises run by Shyam KC, Samarpan Enterprise owned by Sujan Thapa. DoCSM Director General Shambhu Koirala said the depots were found hoarding up to 1,700 LPG cylinders.

Published: 22-12-2015 09:04

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