Locking system to be fitted on more tankersNepal Oil Corporation (NOC) will be installing a security locking system on oil tankers bringing fuel through the Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa border points from April 23 in a bid to eliminate pilferage in transit. Currently, only tankers entering Nepal through Kakarbhitta are fitted with the locking system.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) will be installing a security locking system on oil tankers bringing fuel through the Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa border points from April 23 in a bid to eliminate pilferage in transit. Currently, only tankers entering Nepal through Kakarbhitta are fitted with the locking system.
Nepal imports all its petroleum needs from India. Currently, 125 tankers bring fuel through Nepalgunj and 250 tankers operate on the Bhairahawa route. “We will be enforcing the locking system on all these tankers in a week,” NOC spokesperson Birendra Kumar Goit said. He added that work had already started to fit the locking system on half of the tankers transporting fuel through Bhairahawa.
According to Goit, NOC will be launching the security system on tankers originating from Gonda and Banthara depots of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The fuel imported from IOC’s depot in Gonda enters through Nepalgunj while the IOC depot in Banthara supplies fuel to Nepal via Bhairahawa.
NOC plans to fit the locking system on all tankers transporting fuel into Nepal. Around 1,800 tankers are currently being used to transport fuel from India to Nepal. Despite NOC’s efforts to prevent pilferage by installing the system, a number of tanker owners have been reluctant to have the locks fitted on their vehicles.
Goit said NOC had already directed the concerned offices at the border points not to issue purchase delivery orders to tankers not fitted with the locking system. “Transporters who do not follow NOC instructions will not get delivery orders.”
Although the state-owned oil monopoly had long been mulling to install the security system, the plan was put on hold due to various reasons. It was only a month ago that NOC officially launched the system.
The security devices were installed on 140 tankers at IOC’s Siliguri depot in the first phase. These tankers transport fuel through the Kakarbhitta border point. NOC faced hassles while installing the devices as several tanker owners refused to cooperate. As per NOC, the master keys to the security locks will be held by the NOC and IOC depots. After a tanker is loaded with fuel at an IOC depot, IOC officials will put the security lock on it. When the tanker arrives in Nepal, NOC officials will unlock it and unload the cargo. NOC said tankers transporting fuel within the country would also be secured the same way in the second phase.
The locking system costs Rs25,000 each. For now, IOC has agreed to provide the locks free of cost to Nepal. According to Goit, IOC will be providing 2,300 such locks to NOC. In the next two months, NOC plans to install the locking devices on all tankers used for importing fuel.