With significant improvement in fuel supplies from India, Nepal today ended its five-month-long rationing of petroleum products imposed after the turbulence over the new Constitution that saw a crippling blockade of key border trade points in the landlocked country.
The move brought cheer to thousands of people in the Himalayan nation who, under the quota, were getting merely five litres of petrol for two-wheelers and 15 litres for four-wheelers at a time besides half-filled LPG cylinders. Motorists will now get any amount of fuel, while households can buy fully filled cooking gas cylinders.
Stating that supply of petroleum products from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is increasing with every passing day after the blockade was lifted nearly a fortnight ago, Ministry of Supplies (MoS) took the decision to this effect yesterday, in a relief that comes for the first time after five months of severe fuel shortage.
The rationing and restriction on sales of petroleum products and cooking gas have been lifted from today, home ministry spokesperson Yadav Koirala said, adding that the people will now be able to buy as much fuel as they want.
“The lifting of the rationing of fuel should end long lines at service stations and end difficulties for consumers,” said Deepak Baral, an official at the state-owned fuel monopoly Nepal Oil Corporation, even as long queues were seen at some petrol stations even today.
“We have ended quota system in distribution of petroleum products,” MoS spokesperson Deepak Subedi said, adding: “We have allowed gas bottlers to circulate full cylinders and also directed Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) as well as petrol pumps to distribute fuel as per the demand of the consumers.”
The Corporation is now receiving regular supplies of diesel, gasoline, kerosene, aviation fuel and cooking gas from Indian Oil Corp, which supplies all the petroleum products to Nepal.
However, Subedi said: “We are currently receiving 70 per cent of the demand. The quantum of supply is on the rise.”
“We have also asked NOC to maximise the supply of petrol.”
According to NOC, normal daily demand of petrol and diesel stands at around 1,100 KL and 2,700 KL, respectively. Similarly, daily demand for LPG is around 1,200 tons. NOC has been distributing 450 KL of petrol and 500 KL of diesel in the Kathmandu Valley every day which is higher than the demand of 350KL of petrol and 450KL of diesel on normal days.
IOC is loading 45 gas bullets a day, compared to 60 bullets before the blockade, My Republica reported.