Security locks installed on 1,260 tankersNepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has installed security locks on 1,260 tankers used to import gasoline from India in a bid to prevent pilferage during transit.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has installed security locks on 1,260 tankers used to import gasoline from India in a bid to prevent pilferage during transit. Around 1,800 trucks are engaged in transporting fuel for NOC. The state-owned oil monopoly moved to install locks after discovering several times that the tankers contained less than the stated quantity.
So far, NOC has finished fitting locks on tankers bringing fuel through the Birgunj-Raxaul border point that handles 60 percent of the country’s oil imports. The first convoy of locked tankers fitted with locks reached NOC’s Thankot depot on Tuesday.
NOC Spokesperson Birendra Kumar Goit said the enterprise had completed installing locks on 70 percent of the oil tankers. According to him, they have targeted to fit locks on the rest of the tanker trucks in the next one month.
The security locking system is a specially designed safety measure that is being implemented by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in India. IOC has been providing the locking system free of charge to NOC. Under the system, the tanker trucks are locked at IOC’s depot in India and unlocked by NOC when they reach its depots in Nepal.
Two months ago, NOC implemented the locking system for the first time on tankers used to import fuel from IOC’s Siliguri depot. Goit said only tankers bringing gasoline from Barauni and Banthara, India were left to be fitted with locks.
Barauni supplies the fuel sold in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar and Janakpur. NOC distributes the fuel arriving from Banthara in Dhangadhi.
Goit claimed that the locking system would minimise theft in transit which used to be a serious issue in the past. “As the new locking system cannot be easily tampered with, we are sure that it will reduce theft.”
Recently, in a four-year-old gasoline theft case at NOC’s Bhalwari depot, the Special Court convicted 17 persons, including three senior NOC officials, of corruption. The court declared their Rs670,910 bail forfeited and ordered them to pay a fine of the same amount.
They had been stealing more than 1,000 litres of fuel everyday from each tanker and selling it in India where the price is higher than in Nepal. Currently too, petrol is Rs20.66 per litre cheaper in Nepal than in India while the price differential on diesel stands at Rs23.65 per litre, according to NOC.
Goit said they planned to implement the security locking system on tankers delivering gasoline to refilling stations in the second phase. “After finishing fitting locks on all tankers importing gasoline from India, we will focus on controlling theft in the domestic sector,” he said.