The supply of petroleum fuels in the capital partly resumed from Wednesday after the government and petroleum suppliers reached an understanding yesterday. The tankers filled with petrol reached the capital this morning from Birgunj.
22 petrol tankers and 20 diesel-laden tankers have already arrived at Nepal Oil Corporations’ Thankot Petrol Depot.
Similarly, petroleum products dealers have also imported 9 tankers of petrol from Amlekhgunj today.
“Some of the tankers have been sent to various petrol pumps in the valley,” NOC’s spokesperson Ichhya Bikram Thapa said.
The NOC informed that if the rate of import continues on the present speed, then the supply of petroleum products would resume normally again from Friday in the capital.
144 KL of petrol pumped out in Valley
Following the withdrawal of transportation strike, which enabled movement of petroleum ferrying tankers, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Tuesday pumped out 144,000 liters of petrol in the market.
According to NOC officials, the Thankot depot issued 84,000 liters of petrol to private refilling stations, and additional 60,000 liters to the five refilling stations run by army, police, armed police force and Sajha.
“About 17 private dealers received fuel after four in the evening,” said Sharad Bhandari, general secretary of Nepal Petroleum Dealers Association.
However, on receiving news of distribution, long queues of vehicles had already built at the petrol pumps long before they received fuel. In case of some petrol pumps, such as in Pulchowk, Bhadrakali and Chabahil, queues were longer than a kilometer.
Amid difficulty faced in handling the irked consumers and considering the scuffle recorded in Bhadrakali the day before, dispensing pump manager at Three Brothers Oil in New Baneshwor distributed fuel in presence of security personnel.
NOC spokesperson Ichha Bikram Thapa told The Kathmandu Post that the fuel on transit started arriving in the Valley late in the afternoon. “We diverted all of those to the market directly, and also issued a couple of tanker load of petrol from Thankot depot,” said he.
He elaborated that the NOC has already made arrangement to receive 72,000 liters of petrol from Amlekhgunj and 200,000 liters of petrol from Raxaul on Wednesday.
“We also expect to receive additional 38,000 liters of petrol, which was en-route to Kathmandu, tomorrow,” said he.
Despite all efforts of the corporation, however, the officials said it has still failed to convince the Indian supplier to supply fuel to the required level to Nepal.
On ground of non-payment of past dues, which runs over Rs 4.50 billion, Indian Oil Corporation has curtailed fuel supply to NOC. In the last week, NOC received an average of 1,200 kiloliters of petroleum products a day, which was mere 60 percent of the daily requirement.
While that negatively impacted replenishment of fuel stock, the government on Monday has decided to extend Rs 1.70 billion in loans to the corporation to pay the import bills and build a stock.
NOC presently has about 450 kiloliters of petrol in stock at Thankot. While some 150 KL of that remains within the pipeline and cannot be utilized (dead stock), it cannot distribute further 200 KL on ground of maintaining stock for emergency (strategic stock).