Khaling in dire need of a fuel depot

Fuel: High on the list of priority for people of Khaling, Trashigang is a fuel depot with the nearest depot located at Wamrong about 27km away.

Without a fuel depot, villagers face difficulty in availing LPG cylinders. Thus, timely exchange of the gas cylinders is a major issue.

Khaling gup Tashi Dorji said about 70 percent of households in the gewog rely on LPG cylinders. There are 569 households in the gewog.

“To exchange gas cylinders, people have to hire vehicles to get to Wamrong. At times, the depot runs out of refilled cylinders and people return without exchanging,” he said. “The expense incurred is huge for them.”

In absence of a fuel depot, he said shopkeepers were selling petrol at higher rates.

“It costs about Nu 75 for a liter of petrol in Khaling. It is illegal but vehicle owners don’t have other options during emergencies,” he said. “With the number of vehicles rising in the gewog, the demand for fuel is increasing by the year.”

Besides the vehicles, villagers need petrol to operate power tillers and chainsaws. Excavators deployed for construction of farm roads also consume huge quantity of diesel.

“A fuel depot located near the gewog center has become inevitable. Villagers have repeatedly raised the issue during gewog tshogdus,” Khaling gup Tashi Dorji said.

The issue was also raised during Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay’s visit to the gewog.

During the mid term review of Trashigang, Lyonchen said the government was looking into the possibility of coming up with a fuel depot in the gewog.

Recently, the economic affairs ministry wrote to Trashigang dzongkhag administration stating discussions were underway for the same. Should it come up, Khaling has identified a vacant government land along the highway between Barshong and the gewog center.

Meanwhile, the nearby gewog of Kangpar would also be benefitted if Khaling gets a fuel depot.

Kangpar gup, Chempa Dorji said the fuel depot at Wamrong was 54Km away.

“Villagers pay about Nu 3,000 to hire vehicles. A depot at Khaling would reduce the distance and our expenses,” he said. “But we are also looking forward to the government’s pledge of establishing one at Phegpari side in Thrimshing. That would be much closer.”

Tshering Wangdi |Trashigang

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