Queues at oil pumps will ‘disappear in a few weeks’Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said vehicle queues at refuelling stations will “completely disappear” within the next few weeks.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said vehicle queues at refuelling stations will “completely disappear” within the next few weeks.
The state-owned oil monopoly said it has increased the supply to petrol pumps in the Kathmandu Valley following a rise in fuel imports from India. On Thursday, NOC distributed 495kl of petrol to 72 out of 120 petrol pumps in the Valley. The average daily fuel demand in Kathmandu stands at 350kl.
Petroleum dealers too said the supply was returning to normal. “If NOC continues to supply the same quantity, motorists’ queues will disappear completely within the next two to three days,” said Lilendra Prasad Pradhan, president of Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association.
NOC has been importing 4,300kl of petroleum products daily, against the normal supply of 4,500kl per day, according to NOC Director Mukunda Ghimire.
However, diesel supply is yet to normalise. “Due to high demand for diesel, we have not been able to supplyaccordingly,” said Ghimire, adding the demand for diesel usually shoots up in the period between mid-February and mid-April as construction works speed up.
Load-shedding is also another factor contributing to the rise in the demand for diesel. From mid-February to mid-April, the demand for petroleum products goes up to 85,000-90,000kl per month from normal 75,000kl, Ghimire said.
NOC has claimed it has increased diesel supply to the Valley to 500kl from 450kl, but Pradhan said the supply stands at just 400kl per day. “The supply should be increased to at least 600kl per day to end the shortage,” he said, adding NOC has directed petrol pumps not to sell diesel in jerrycans.
As far as cooking gas is concerned, the import has increased to 55-60 bullets per day, according to NOC.
With people still straggling to buy LPG cylinders despite NOC’s claim of rising imports, Ghimire said they have requested Indian Oil Corporation to increase gas consignment to ease the situation. “In response, IOC has asked us to send more bullets to its Barauni refinery,” Ghimire said.