Shortage eases after fuel supply doubledNepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Monday increased petrol deliveries in the Kathmandu Valley by almost double to 725 kilolitres to ease a shortage caused by a strike by oil tanker operators.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Monday increased petrol deliveries in the Kathmandu Valley by almost double to 725 kilolitres to ease a shortage caused by a strike by oil tanker operators.
The state-owned oil monopoly said it had issued 820 kilolitres of petrol on Sunday, leading to queues at gasoline stations becoming shorter as the supply improved.
NOC Spokesperson Bhanubhakta Khanal said the corporation had increased fuel deliveries significantly on the first two days of the week. “Despite the protest by tanker operators, we have increased supplies by dipping into our reserve stocks,” Khanal said.
Lines started forming outside gasoline stations after tanker operators refused to load oil at Indian Oil Corporation depots in India on Friday to press their 15-point demand. The news triggered panic buying on Sunday.
Netra Kafle, chief of the NOC depot at Thankot, said they distributed 50 kilolitres of petrol to pumps operated by the Nepal Army and Nepal Police on Friday. According to him, the Thankot depot issued 200 kilolitres on Saturday too.
“Despite adequate deliveries on Sunday and Monday, shortages continued due to transportation delays caused by bad roads and traffic congestion.”
Tanker operators have been staging a protest demanding that the rule in the Petroleum Products Transportation Bylaw requiring them to maintain a minimum fleet size of five tankers be removed.
They have also been asking NOC to revise the range of claimable loss and set the temperature shrinkage coefficient as per the international standard. The operators have warned NOC that they will completely halt the supply from February 27 if their demands are not fulfilled by then.
Disruptions in the supply of essentials goods are banned by law, but tanker operators have been repeatedly creating obstructions on various pretexts.
On Monday, NOC held talks with the protesting tanker operators. Bishwo Aryal, general secretary of the Nepal Petroleum Transporters’ Association, said NOC had agreed to expedite amendments to the bylaw.
“NOC officials said they would forward the appropriate demands of the transporters to the board for a final decision,” said Aryal. However, NOC Spokesperson Khanal said that their demands were being discussed.