Lone fuel sta­tion ad­dresses com­muter woes

Business Bhutan - - Business - Kr­ishna Ghal­ley

With a new fuel sta­tion sta­tioned in Tingtibi, commuters can now avail the fa­cil­ity to re­fuel their ve­hi­cles with­out hav­ing to travel ei­ther to Zhem­gang or Pan­bang, which had the near­est fuel sta­tions till now.

Druk Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited sta­tioned the fuel sta­tion in April last year. It pro­vides re­fu­el­ing ser­vices to the res­i­dents of Tingtibi as well as trav­el­ers who can save fuel and time by fore­go­ing the 35km from Tingtibi to Zhem­gang and more than 70km to Nganglam.

As the route is com­monly used by truck­ers fer­ry­ing ce­ment from Dungsam Ce­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited to Trongsa for Mangdechhu Hy­drop­wer Project, the truck­ers could now re­fuel at the sta­tion dur­ing emer­gen­cies. More than 200 trucks use the road daily.

With­out a fuel sta­tion nearby ear­lier, commuters used to face dif­fi­cul­ties to re­fuel.

“It is a wel­come de­vel­op­ment for the peo­ple of Tingtibi. We have been wait­ing for this a long time back. We can now save time and cost to re­fuel our ve­hi­cles,” said a busi­ness­man in Tingtibi.

Till now, peo­ple had been buy­ing fuel like petrol and diesel from nearby shops in case of emer­gen­cies. They also re­sorted to stor­ing fuel.

Though truck­ers re­fuel their ve­hi­cles ei­ther in Nganglam or Trongsa; at times, their com­mut­ing used to be cut short when fuel ex­hausted. Not any­more though.

Dawa Lepcha, 31, a reg­u­lar ce­ment car­rier, said that with the new sta­tion, the driv­ers can avail nec­es­sary ser­vices dur­ing emer­gen­cies. He nar­rates an in­ci­dent when he was stuck half­way through. “Now, we can re­fuel from here. Back then, we used to carry fuel in our ve­hi­cles.”

The fuel sta­tion has also eased prob­lems of re­fu­el­ing ma­chiner­ies for nearby con­struc­tion com­pa­nies. Th­ese com­pa­nies buy fuel in stock up to 4,000l at once.

The Sta­tion In-charge, Man Bdr. Rai, said that ve­hi­cles vis­it­ing the fuel sta­tion are in­creas­ing daily. Since the sta­tion is in­stalled re­cently, he said that peo­ple might be un­aware that it ex­ists and still travel to Zhem­gang for re­fu­el­ing. “But once they come to know, ev­ery­one nearby Tingtibi and trav­el­ling on this road will come,” he said.

At present, more than 50 ve­hi­cles stop at the sta­tion to re­fuel in a month.

The In-charge also said that Tingtibi was in dire need of a fuel sta­tion with in­creas­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties and higher liv­ing stan­dards. “Now ve­hi­cles are a ne­ces­sity and not hav­ing a fuel sta­tion would pose prob­lems.”

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