The Supply and Consumer Welfare Sub-committee under the Parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumers’ Welfare Interests Committee on Sunday blamed the “overuse” of gas by LPG-run vehicles for the shortage.
Narayan Bahadur Karki, chairman of the sub-committee, said it has identified overuse of LPG in the vehicles as one of the main reasons for the ongoing shortage of cooking gas.
Despite the Nepal Oil Corporation’s (NOC) claims it has increased the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the market is still facing the shortage. The shortage, which ensued after Indian Oil Corporation’s Barauni refinery plant cut supplies due to maintenance work three months ago, still persists.
NOC said it increased the supply to 29,000 tonnes for January and February from 22,377 tonnes.
Out of 54 gas bottlers, two—Pashupati Auto Gas and Valley Auto Gas Supplier—have been permitted to supply the gas to public vehicles, including LPG-run microbus and safa tempos.
NOC had been providing 108 tonnes per month to these companies each. But since the Barauni plant cut off the supply, these companies have been receiving only 35 tonnes each on an average, according to the NOC record.
Despite the shortage, operators of LPG-run vehicles have not reported any shortage. An LPG cylinder lasts for 7-10 days in microbus/tempo.
“Due to the overuse of LPG by these vehicles, household consumers facing troubles,” said Lawmaker Shubhas Chandra Thakuri.
The suppliers said they only refuel cylinders brought by the vehicle operators, not household consumers. “We are not concerned about which cylinders the vehicles use,” said Suchit Raj Nakarmi of Valley Auto Gas.