After fuel, China offers to supply LPG to Nepal

As Nepalese government started distributing subsidised firewood to the people of Kathmandu, China has offered to supply LPG to Nepal after gifting fuel to ease the crisis in the country, hit by acute fuel shortage due to a blockade at key border trade points with India.

Kathmandu: As Nepalese government started distributing subsidised firewood to the people of Kathmandu, China has offered to supply LPG to Nepal after gifting fuel to ease the crisis in the country, hit by acute fuel shortage due to a blockade at key border trade points with India.

According to Nepal's Ambassador to China, Dr Mahesh Maskey, China has expressed its willingness to supply cooking gas bullets directly to Kathmandu by establishing a joint customs point at Panchkhal of Kavrepalanchowk district, situated 75 kilometres east of the capital city.

Maskey announced this yesterday while briefing Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun regarding the import of fuel from China to end the obstruction of fuel supply caused by blockade in the Nepal-India border, according to officials.

A bullet of cooking gas is equal to 1,250 cylinders and monthly consumption of cooking gas stands at 1.5 million cylinders in the country.

Nepalese authorities are preparing for signing a trade agreement with China to bring in more fuel.

Ninety per cent of the 1.3 million litres of fuel gifted by China to fuel-starved Nepal has already arrived here through Kerung-Rasuwagadhi trading point, that was recently opened with the joint efforts of Nepal and China even as the entry point was severely damaged during the April 25 quake.

Petrol and diesel could be brought from Kerung- Rasuwagadhi border point while gas bullets could be brought via Tatopani border point, 110 km east of Kathmandu, Maskey said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people queued in Kathmandu yesterday and today to buy firewood after the government arranged selling fire wood to the city dwellers in subsidised rate of Rs 15 per kg.

One person will be provided with 100 kg of fire wood for cooking purposes, according to a government notice.

The move came as Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli asked India to end an "undeclared blockade" that has left the country desperately short of fuel and other supplies.

During a televised address to the nation yesterday, Oli asked India to end the blockade in the border as it would invited humanitarian crisis in the country.

He said the crisis brought by the blockade was more severe than war-time situation.

Meanwhile, the cadres of the agitating Joint Madhesi Front seized 500 litres of petrol at Gaushala in Mahottarai district today and destroyed it, saying the fuel was smuggled into Nepal from India.

The Front has launched agitation in the southern Nepal districts for around three months against the new Constitution that divides the country into seven provinces, saying that they do not want to mix the hilly regions with the southern plains. 

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