Tashichhoeling Dungkhag residents ask for additional fuel depot amid shortages

Frustrated by persistent fuel shortages, residents of Tashichhoeling Dungkhag in Samtse are asking for an additional fuel depot. There is only one fuel depot in Tashichhoeling catering to over 20,000 residents besides customers in neighbouring gewogs. Due to the fuel shortage, some even travel hundreds of kilometres to Samtse town to refuel their cars and refill gas cylinders.

The existing fuel depot frequently runs out of supplies, leaving residents without fuel and LPG cylinders for days.  Disappointed drivers return without refuelling their vehicles almost every day.

The situation has become challenging for people residing in Tendu and Norgaygang Gewogs, who travel nearly 50 kilometres to the fuel station, only to find the depot without fuel and LPG cylinders.

Sonam Jamtsho, a resident of Tendu said, “The residents of Tashichhoeling and Norgaygang Gewogs have been facing problems caused by fuel and LPG cylinders shortage for quite some time now. When we go to Tashichhoeling to refuel our vehicles, most of the time we have to return home without refuelling our cars. Our vehicle ran out of fuel midway through the journey.”

“We have to travel far to refuel our cars and at times upon reaching the fuel station, they tell us that there is no fuel available. It is very frustrating,” said Samten Wangdi, another resident of Tendu.

Besides requesting an additional fuel depot, some residents are also proposing setting up petrol shops in various locations.

“I believe a solution to this issue could be establishing petrol shops like in other countries, such as Switzerland. If the government could invest five hundred thousand ngultrum, youths and DeSuups could set up shops in every community. These shops would provide a reliable source of fuel for residents facing fuel and gas cylinder shortages,” said Shyam Lal Limbu, a resident of Tashichhoeling.

According to the Druk Petroleum Corporation Limited, the growing number of population and cars in Tashichhoeling Dungkhag is the main reason for the fuel shortage. Moreover, they added, the Real Time Gross Settlement, RTGS system used for the payments of export of fuel is time consuming, further delaying the timely delivery of fuel and LPG services.

Meanwhile, to help solve the problem, the Tashichhoeling Gewog has submitted requests to the STCBL urging the establishment of an additional fuel depot. They are yet to receive any response from the office.

The only fuel depot in the Dungkhag today caters to five gewogs of Tashichhoeling Dungkhag and two nearby gewogs of Sangngagchogling and Yoeseltse gewogs.

Passang Dorji, Samtse

Edited by Sangay Chezom

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