NOC to India: Supply extra 15k tonnes of LPGNepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has written to the Indian government requesting a supply of another 15,000 tonnes of cooking gas for next month as the country continues to suffer from a crippling shortage even one and a half months after the end of the embargo.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has written to the Indian government requesting a supply of another 15,000 tonnes of cooking gas for next month as the country continues to suffer from a crippling shortage even one and a half months after the end of the embargo.
Cooking gas shipments from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are expected to reach 25,000 tonnes this month (mid-March to mid-April). Before the blockade, NOC was receiving 29,000 tonnes monthly. It said that 21,000 tonnes of fuel entered the country during the period mid-February to mid-March.
NOC Spokesperson Mukunda Ghimire said the corporation on Tuesday requested the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi to ensure supplies of 40,000 tonnes of cooking gas next month (mid-April to mid-May). “If we get more cooking gas, the ongoing shortage will end,” said Ghimire, speaking at an open forum organised by Youth Association of Nepal, a sister organization of the ruling CPN-UML. He said that the request had been made to the Indian government as Nepal needed additional supplies. NOC blamed the scarcity of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the prolonged shortage during the trade embargo that lasted four and a half months. It said that Nepal received only 4,000 tonnes and 6,000 tonnes of cooking gas respectively during the first two months of the blockade.
The state-owned oil monopoly said panic buying led to the current shortage while gas dealers said it was caused by bottlers delivering large quantities to business entities like star hotels and restaurants at the expense of the general public. Gyaneshwor Aryal, president of the Gas Dealers Federation, said bottlers had not been providing adequate supplies to gas dealers to sell to general consumers.
Meanwhile, a gasoline shortage continued on Tuesday despite NOC’s assurances that fuel shipments from India had become regular. Most petrol pumps in the Kathmandu Valley have been closed since Sunday due to rumours of another trade embargo by India. Ratan Chalaune, a student from the Far Western Region, complained that they were having a hard time travelling by public transport because of the shortage. Ghimire of NOC said they had increased petrol deliveries due to the surge in demand. “We distributed 600 kilolitres and 450 kilolitres of petrol on Monday and Tuesday respectively while we will be issuing 600 kilolitres on Wednesday.”