This Article is From Oct 31, 2015

Supply Standoff 'Fuels' Crisis, Nepal Turns to China for Help

Supply Standoff 'Fuels' Crisis, Nepal Turns to China for Help

Protesters have allowed bikers to travel across the border to get the fuel

Raxaul: Hit by fuel-crisis with no supplies from India for over a two months, Nepal turns to China for help, diplomatic circles in India may be worried, but on the ground, in Bihar's border town of Raxaul, truckers like Jaylal Yadav say there's no other choice.

Yadav's truck and 53 others from Nepal's oil corporation have been parked right opposite the Indian Oil Depot at Raxaul for over two months now. On a normal day, over 150 fuel trucks cross this border to Nepal, each carrying 10,000 to15000 litres of fuel, filling up from the Indian oil Depot. That's half of Nepal's daily fuel requirement.

But Yadav and other truckers are stuck, as protesters from Nepal, angry over the country's new constitution, have occupied a crucial road bridge on no man's land between the two countries.

"Sometimes I think about leaving the truck here and going home but it's really not possible because something might get stolen from the truck," says Mr Yadav, who lives close to Nepal's Birgunj town.

India says it's up to the Nepalese government to find a peaceful way out of this crisis.

Vikas Swaroop, Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, told media in Delhi, "Some border points are open, but yes Raxaul is the most critical. There is no blockade on the borders from our side. Fuel delivery has been halted due to 1 per cent of Nepalese people who are not happy with their Constitution."

"India hopes the protesters and the Nepal government can reach a solution by dialogue," Mr Swaroop added.

China says it will send in 1,000 tonnes of fuel immediately to Nepal, but fuel stations at Raxaul are the only hope for people like 41-year-old Sona Lal Patel, who works at a hospital at Nepal's Birgunj town, 8 kilometres from the border. Protesters have allowed bikers to travel across the border to fill up.

"Sometimes I have to stand in line for four hours. I don't think China can help, it's really up to India to do something, it's up to them really," said Mr Patel.