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Nepal down to two days fuel

Already reeling under 14-hour daily power cuts, Nepal is now faced with a severe fuel crisis dubbed the worst the Himalayan nation has witnessed in over two decades.

world Updated: May 01, 2011 00:43 IST
Utpal Parashar

Already reeling under 14-hour daily power cuts, Nepal is now faced with a severe fuel crisis dubbed the worst the Himalayan nation has witnessed in over two decades.

Unpaid dues to Indian Oil Corporation, the sole supplier of petrol and diesel, by Nepal Oil Corporation have brought down fuel import sharply triggering a crisis all over Nepal for the past two weeks.

“NOC is debt-ridden and has no cash to finance imports. No financier trusts us with loans. So, even I don’t know when the shortage will end,” the Republica quoted NOC MD Digambar Jha.

Most petrol stations in Kathmandu Valley are closed and long queues are seen outside those which have limited supply still available.

Terming it the worst fuel crisis since 1990, Thursday’s The Himalayan Times stated that the NOC storage facility at Thankot outside Kathmandu has barely enough stock to last two days. Import of fuel has dropped by 40% and IOC which is yet to receive over $50 million from NOC for past imports has refused to increase supply till unpaid dues are cleared.

The present situation could last for some more time as NOC has asked the government to bail it out with loans while the latter has asked it to repay the debts on its own.

Authorities at NOC have also urged the government to hike fuel prices to address the issue.

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