No fuel for international airlines from Tuesday: Nepal

Kathmandu, Sep 28 (IANS) Nepal’s aviation body on Monday conveyed its inability to provide fuel to international airlines from Tuesday following a severe fuel shortage at home.

The development came as Nepal is reeling under severe fuel cuts after India declined to send petroleum supplies through various Nepal-India entry points over insecurity on the Nepali side of the border.

With the embargo continuing, Nepal has introduced a token system for domestic, private and public use of all types of vehicles.

The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has decided not to provide aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for the international airlines connecting Nepal from Tuesday afternoon onwards to keep the existing stock intact.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM), filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of the decision, has been issued in this regard on Monday, the TIA said.

TIA officials said the move to stop supplying fuel for international carriers has been taken under the request of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

As the current stock of ATF could fulfil the international airlines demand for at least seven days, the government had on Saturday requested the airlines to refuel their tanks and carry return fuel from their respective points of origin.

Similarly, India has been releasing a limited number of Nepal-bound freight since Sunday from its Sunauli point after the officials at Bhairahawa customs continuously urged their Indian counterparts to release the Nepal-bound freight.

India, which was sending perishable goods like potatoes, fruits and onions for the past four days, released around 40 vehicles, including two fuel tankers and two LP gas bullets on Sunday.

On Monday, two dozen trucks carrying vegetables, fruits and industrial raw materials were released by India until 2 p.m. But it did not release any fuel tankers.

Bhairahawa customs Chief Lawanya Dhakal said he directly contacted the Indian customs officials and inquired why the fuel tankers were not released.

He said the Indian officials assured of immediately sending eight fuel tankers and three LP gas bullets.

Dhakal also said they have been sending representatives to the Indian customs office for pressurising them to send essential goods to Nepal.

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