KATHMANDU, Oct 29: At a time when consumers in Kathmandu Valley have been finding it hard to light their kitchen fires, dozens of LPG-loaded bullets that are already in the Nepali territory have remained idle in different parts of the Tarai.
There are more than four dozens LPG bullets with local bottlers in the Tarai and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) wants to bring them to Kathmandu for distribution among Valley dwellers. But these bullets have ramained stuck for the past one week because of differences over transportation charges and the unwillingness of transporters to cooperate.
The stranded 70 LPG bullets can fill some 88,900 gas cylinders, or enough to alleviate the ongoing supply crunch in the Valley.
"We have requested transporters to bring the bullets to Kathmandu, they have been dillydallying," Deepak Baral, spokesperson of NOC, told Republica, adding, "NOC is, however, committed to bringing those gas bullets to the capital to provide relief to consumers."
It has been learnt, meanwhile, that transporters have been citing various reasons, from transportation charges to technical difficulties, for refusing to cooperate.
Meanwhile, Shiva Ghimire, chairman of Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, told Republica that top level NOC officials have assured adequate transportation charges for bringing the bullets from the Tarai to Kathmandu. "If the government pays the transportation charges, there is no problem in supplying the bullets to Kathmandu," Ghimire said, adding, "Valley-based bottlers will purchase the bullets from local bottlers in the Tarai and bring them here."
According to Ghimire, Valley-based bottlers will try to either bring the bullets to Kathmandu or take empty LPG cylinders to the Tarai for refilling. "If we are able to bring the bullets to Kathmandu, we will distribute half-filled cylinders (7.1 kg) to Valley consumers," added Ghimire.
The half-filled cylinders will cost Rs 700, according to him.
After India stopped supplying fuel to Nepal following its dissatisfaction over the new constitution, the country, and especially Kathmandu Valley, has been witnessing acute shortage of petroleum products.
Meanwhile, Nepal on Wednesday broke the four-decade monopoly of India and signed a pact with China for the supply fuel to Nepal.
Published on: My Republica (October 29, 2015)