The existing timing to refill liquified petroleum gas (LPG) between 4pm to 6pm in Tsimasham has affected the people and should be changed, some local government leaders said at the dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) on March 15.

Local leaders proposed the fuel stations to provide the service from 9am until 5pm.

Bjachhog gup Peljor Dorji said that the current timing was inconvenient.

“It is a problem for those people who come to refill from distant places,” he said. “People at times face problem as they do not get transportation.”

Since August 2017, Tsimasham BOD stopped allowing refills in the morning. The road to the LPG depot leads through Tsimakha primary school campus and considering the disturbances from vehicles coming to refill the gas cylinders the timing was changed last year.

LPG can be filled between 4pm and 6pm, only after the school is over.

Tsimasham BOD’s manager Kencho Tshering said the step was taken as vehicles entering through the school distracted students.

“We can change the timing but people may have to take another route,” he said. “This would mean people would have to manually ferry the LPG cylinders as there is no road.”

Bjachhog gup Peljor Dorji also said that the timing to refuel vehicles had to be extended. At present, the BOD refuels vehicles from 6am to 10pm.

“This is a highway and the service should be throughout the night,” the gup said, adding that the BOD in Phuentsholing provided service throughout the night.

“There are many vehicles plying this road.”

Talking to Kuensel, BOD manager Kencho Tshering said that the depot caters to emergency refueling round the clock.

“It is also risky for our staff,” he said. Recently, Kencho Tshering said three men under the influence of controlled substances had come to the fuel depot at 2am.

The depot would, however cater to all emergency calls, he added.

Tsimasham depot has a capacity to store 9,000 litres of petrol. There are two storage facilities for diesel with 9,000 litres and 15,000 litres. However, the facility of 9,000 litres diesel is not functioning at the moment.

Meanwhile, the tshogdu discussed that a road from another area was feasible. It was decided that a letter would be submitted to the trade department.

Bongo mangmi Sonam Dema said that villagers face problem in availing kerosene from Gedu fuel depot. During rainy season, people often resort to kerosene at times of power disruption.

“Along with Bongo gewog people, there were people from Darla, Getana, Dungna who faced problems,” she said.

Lokchina gup, Indra Lal Ghalley also shared that villagers in rural places faced problems in using the online system for LPG and kerosene.

Representatives from trade were not present at the DT.

Rajesh Rai | Chukha