Petrol black marketeering rampant in Dang; authorities indifferent
DANG, April 30: Fuel refilling stations in Dang bear ´No Petrol´ and ´No Diesel´ signs after Indian Oil Corporation, the sole supplier of petroleum products for Nepal, slashed supplies following the country´s inability to pay back a debt of Rs 1.5 billion.
But in nearby grocery, tea and even pharmaceutical stores, petrol and diesel are being sold in water bottles at up to Rs 180 per liter. Yet concerned authorities are doing nothing to stop black marketeering that is happening right under their nose.
The area between Tulsipur and Bhalubang in the district is dotted with over two dozen petrol pumps, while around six more of such stations are currently under construction. But most of these stations do not have ample stock of petroleum products to meet the market demand. And black marketers are taking advantage of this situation by selling these products for up to 50 percent more than the prices set by the government.
The problem in purchasing petroleum products from these vendors is that they are highly adulterated, Janakiram Tharu of Dang, Lamahi, said, complaining, “Petrol bought from one such source damaged my bike.”
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) knows what is happening is illegal. But its hands are tied as it is not the concerned body to take action against such people.
“However, we have been reporting about these issues to the district administrative office (DAO),” said Ket Narayan Acharya, deputy chief of the Tulsipur Office of NOC. “Besides, NOC has also been providing reports on amount of oil provided to each fuel station in the district.”
But the DAO said it has not detected any such case during market inspections. “We only found one vendor selling petroleum product at higher price,” Acting Chief District Officer Bhawishwor Pandey said. “Maybe others are also involved in black-marketing, but we haven´t caught anyone red-handed so far.”
According to NOC, Dang district consumes around 1.5 million liters of diesel per month and around 200,000-300,000 liters of petrol per month. Currently, most of the black marketers are bringing in petroleum products from Nepalgunj and Butwal.