Kathmandu: Nepal on Thursday airlifted 66 tonnes of aviation fuel from Kolkata to overcome an acute shortage of petroleum products as Nepal-bound cargo trucks from India have not been allowed to enter by Madhes-based political parties for the past fortnight.
Nepal continues to reel under severe fuel shortage as agitating Madhes-based parties have blocked all entry points to press Kathmandu to address their demands.
A Nepal Airlines Boeing 757 airlifted the aviation fuel to boost the stock of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) amid growing worries that fuel shortage could force the grounding of domestic airlines.
"The airlifted aviation fuel will be used for our domestic airlines," said Nepal Airlines managing director Sugat Ratna Kansakar.
Following the shortfall in aviation fuel, Nepal requested international airlines to refuel their aircraft outside the country.
Officials said that after assessing all possible options, Nepal Airlines decided to procure aviation fuel from Kolkata due to short flight duration and other economic reasons.
Nepal is also reeling under severe shortage of other fuel like petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, following which NOC has called for a global tender to supply fuel.
Many hotels and restaurants in Kathmandu have started using wood for cooking.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)