Choki Wangmo | Dagana

The days of storing fuel (diesel or petrol) in jerry cans in Dagana will be finally over with the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan agreeing to set up a fuel depot in Dagana town.

The planned depot will be located 2.5km away from the town in Tseza gewog. Recently, a team from STCBL, with the support of the dzongkhag administration and the National Council’s member of the Parliament (MP) Surjaman Thapa, identified a 40-decimal land at Tsanglaykha in the gewog.

 Dagana Dzongdag Duba said that there were plans in the past to construct a fuel depot but it couldn’t materialise due to lack of appropriate space. He said that the dzongkhag land officer identified three areas before deciding on the current location. “Except for one household, five households in the area consented to the dzongkhag’s plan.” 

Given that the required documents are ready, he said that the construction would be complete within six months along with a sales counter, canopy, and fuel storage tank. 

Tseza Gup Phurba said that the plan for a fuel depot in Dagana had been there for many years and was discussed in the dzongkhag tshogdus without much progress. “The depot will benefit the residents of nearby gewogs too.”

He said that residents wasted time and resources to travel to Dagapela, spending about eight litres in covering more than 90km. “It might be a loss for the company in the beginning but once the Dagana-Wangdue bypass is completed, it will be profitable.”

Residents are happy with the news. 

A grocery shop owner in Dagana town, Nima Tshering, said that it was a waste to travel to Dagapela to refuel his car but he didn’t have a choice. “I spent about Nu 600 worth fuel travelling to and fro. The depot will greatly benefit business owners and residents of Khebisa, Kana, and Tseza gewogs.”

Another shopkeeper, Tshering, said that instead of travelling to Dagapela to refuel her car, she bought petrol from a dealer in the town who stores fuel in jerry cans. 

She said while the price is higher, she doubts the quality of the fuel. “If it costs Nu 60 at Dagapela, it costs Nu 80 here.”

MP Surjaman Thapa said that STCBL’s intervention meant a lot for the people. 

He said that although the company might face loss in the initial stage of operation due to fewer vehicles in Dagana town, commuters would increase once the Dagana-Wangdue highway is complete. 

Edited by Tashi Dema