The fuel stations have put in place preventive measures for even distribution
Fuel: Fuel stations in Bumthang and Trongsa could run out of fuel with the existing stock expected to last only for a few more days.
The Bhutan Oil Corporation (BoC) in Bumthang and Zhemgang have not received fuel supplies since July 18. They are already controlling sales as a measure to ensure they don’t run out of fuel.
People in Bumthang can purchase only five litres of petrol and 10 litres of diesel for light vehicles and only for driving within the town. Heavy vehicles get around 20 litres of diesel.
BoC staff in Bumthang said people travelling long distances are provided with more fuel. “We had 8,000 litres of petrol and 21,000 litres of diesel till yesterday which could have finished had we continued to sell as usual,” an official said.
Bumthang consumes about 2,000 litres of petrol everyday, which is likely to finish if the existing roadblocks continue for another three days.
Bumthang has also run out of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.
The same control measures are being practiced in Trongsa.
Trongsa’s BoC manager Dechen Dorji said that they have 15,000 litres of petrol and 19,000 litres of diesel in stock. “Petrol might last for two weeks while diesel might finish in about five days given the high number of diesel vehicles working for the Mangdechu Hydroelectric project authority (MHPA),” he said.
The BoC has some LPG cylinders in stock for now.
BoC’s manager in Zhemgang, Karma Dhendup, said that three tankers carrying petrol and diesel to Bumthang and MHPA unloaded at the Zhemgang fuel station given the roadblocks.
Karma Dhendup said they have about 22,000 litres of petrol and 18,000 litres of diesel in stock for now. “Since there are not many vehicles here, petrol could last for about a month and diesel for about two weeks,” he said, adding that they are selling fuel as usual without any restrictions.
Economic affairs minister, Lekey Dorji, said on social media, that the government will do whatever it can to ensure “our people do not suffer from shortage of fuel due to roadblocks.”
Meanwhile, as the roadblock continues without improvement, people fear that the price of commodities could increase.
Nima Wangdi | Bumthang