Fuel depots still without petrol

Transportation: Twenty-four fuel tankers arrived Thimphu yesterday. However, fuel depots in Punakha and Wangdue are still without petrol.

The fuel depot at Khuruthang in Punakha also might run out of its diesel stock soon according to depot officials. It has been two days since the fuel depot below Wangdue Bridge has ran out of both diesel and petrol.

Fuel station in Khuruthang has been out of petrol since July 26 but had 6,000 litres of diesel as of July 27. Fuel depot at Bajo ran out of petrol on July 27.

The depot in Bajo town was, however, replenished yesterday after Bhutan Oil Distributor (BoD) sent two of its eight tankers to Wangdue. “We deployed one diesel and one petrol tanker to Wangdue,” said Karma Thinley, BoD manager at Lungtenzampa, Thimphu.

BoD also deployed two tankers with petrol and diesel to Paro where the fuel stock shortage was felt. “The other six tankers were off loaded here in Motithang and Lungtenzampa,” Karma Thinley said.

Damchen Petroleum Distributors also got a tanker each of petrol and diesel yesterday. “Two more tankers are due to arrive today,” said the manager of Olakha branch, Chencho Tshering.

Druk Petroleum Corporation at Chubachu received one tanker petrol yesterday morning and was expecting a diesel tanker by night. “Two tankers of petrol and another two tankers with diesel are expected today,” said the corporation’s assistant manager, Tshering Dolma.

Bumthang received 16,000 litres of petrol and 3,000 litres of diesel last night after the fuel depot there ran out of petrol since the morning of July 26.  Four petrol tankers have left for Bumthang en route to Trashigang and Mongar from Samdrup Jongkhar on July 27.

Though all the depots had some oil in their underground tank, the fuel could not be pumped out since it had reached the minimum level.

But as of July 27 Trongsa had a comfortable stock of 13,479 litres of petrol and 15,457 litres of diesel. Zhemgang reportedly also has 20,182 litres of petrol and 13,040 liters of diesel.

With arrival of fuel the number of cars rushing to fuel has also dropped dramatically from July 27. “The number of people coming to fuel has dropped drastically after the arrival of fuel,” Chencho Tshering said.

He said that only 2,700 litres of petrol was sold yesterday from the fuel depot compared with 6,000-7,000 litres a day during the roadblocks.

With cars refuelling due to fear of possible fuel shortage, fuel depots were drained out of capacity of over 20,000 litres in just about two days after the roadblock. In Thimphu BoD alone sold 109,000 litres of petrol and 94,000 litres of diesel until July 27.

The fuel depots were replenished with fuel from the reserve tank in Dechenling after running out of their underground tank reserve. But the depots however have stopped taking fuel from the reserve tanks after arrival of their stock from yesterday.

The depots also said that more tankers are on the way. “Eight tankers are on the way today,” Karma Thinley said.

Tempa Wangdi

Additional reporting by Dawa Gyalmo and Nima Wangdi

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