Tashichholing runs short of fuel

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

The Druk Petroleum Corporation Limited (DPCL) has been able to transport fuel (petrol and diesel) to Tashichholing (Sipsu) from Samtse after the oil tankers were stranded at Buduney river for four days since June 24.

Heavy rains led to swollen river.

The fuel was transshipped in barrels and transported on June 28.

Tashichholing depot was without fuel for more than a week.

With the Indian route from Nagarkatta closed due to the lockdown, the only option is to convey the fuel tankers from Samtse. However, tankers are not allowed to use the two bridges over Buduney and Dina rivers due to the limited load capacity of these two bridges.

The bridge over Buduney river, about one km away from Samtse towards Tashichholing, has load carrying capacity of just 12 metric tonnes (MT). Dina bridge, about three to four kms away from Samtse has load limit of just six MT.

A tanker, with fuel load, is about 15MT to 16MT.

After the heavy and continuous rainfall, the Buduney river had swollen, making it difficult for the tankers to cross the river on June 24.

Only one of the three tankers was able to cross the river, that too with the help of heavy machinery.

Tashichholing’s fuel depot manager, Mahesh Gurung, said that the depot was able to transship the remaining fuel on June 28.

DPCL was able to transport 4,000 litres of petrol and 32,000 litres of diesel. About 170 LPG cylinders have also been delivered at Tashichholing fuel depot.

By late evening yesterday, the DPCL staff were waiting to transship remaining 18 barrels of fuel from Buduney.

“We will be able to do it,” Mahesh Gurung said.

According to Mahesh Gurung the depot did not get support from any agency in Samtse.

“People only ask if there is fuel,” he said.

Mahesh Gurung said that the staff suffered a lot and had to survive on noodles.

“They could not leave the tankers from the stranded spot and had to guard then round the clock.”

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