New fuel station at Nobding brings relief to Wangdue Phodrang residents

Residents of Dangchhu, Gangtey, Phobji, and Sephu Gewogs in Wangdue Phodrang can now breathe a sigh of relief as they now have a new fuel station in the locality. The opening of STCBL’s Fuel Retail Outlet yesterday at Nobding in Dangchhu Gewog means convenience has arrived at their doorstep. Previously, residents had to undertake arduous journeys to Bajo town or Trongsa solely to refuel their vehicles.

The outlet on the roadside of the East-West Highway below Nobding Satellite town can store 45,000 litres of diesel and 35,000 litres of petrol. The STCBL spent around Nu 18 M to build the outlet.

Besides the people of the four gewogs and Nobding satellite town, it will also benefit the people travelling along the East-West Highway and parts of Nyisho and Bjena Gewogs.

In the absence of a fuel station nearby, people had to either go to Bajo town which is over sixty kilometres away or take a hundred-kilometre drive towards Trongsa to refuel their cars. Some people have even resorted to storing fuel in containers for emergency purposes. The requirement for a fuel station at Nobding was raised several times by local leaders in the Dzongkhag Tshogdu.

“So far, we have faced lots of challenges to refuel our cars, especially during snowy weather in winter and when roads get blocked due to rain in summer. Sometimes, we had to even hire vehicles to fetch fuel from the nearest stations in Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa,” said Singye Wangdi, a resident.

“We even faced problems in reaching patients to hospital due to shortage of fuel in vehicles. Access to fuel had been a challenge throughout the year but it used to become acute in winters as people have to use fuel to collect firewood apart from using it in vehicles,” said Gyem Dorji, Dangchhu Mangmi.

“So far, we had to spend at least Nu 300 to go to Bajo town and then spend another few hundred ngultrum while returning. We also had to spend on food. Now, we will not have to waste our time travelling to Bajo. We can instead use the time for other productive works at home,” said Rinzin, Dungdung Nyelsa_Norbuding Tshogpa.

Currently, only petrol, diesel and lubricants are available at the outlet. However, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and kerosene are not available.

“Though the construction cost is around Nu 20 M, people’s benefit is our priority. Right now, we have around seven people working here and we are going to operate 24X7,” said Sugan Pradhan, General Manager of the Petroleum Division of STCBL.

So far, the STCBL has constructed eight such Fuel Retail Outlets across the country. And four more are under construction with the outlets in Chumey and Dagana expected to open within a month’s time. Likewise, another four outlets will be constructed at Kheri Goenpa and Nganglam in Pema Gatshel, Panbang in Zhemgang and Doksum in Trashi Yangtse next year.”

Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang

Edited by Kipchu

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