Ministry of Economic Affairs, in its list of prioritized plans, intends to have at least one oil and fuel depot in each town in the country due to increasing demand for gas and fuel.
The discussion was held in the National Assembly yesterday when the MP of Khamdang Ramjar constituency, Sonam Dondup Dorji, asked the Economic Affairs Minister, Lekey Dorji, to speed up the work on setting up oil and fuel depot in Doksum town under Trashiyangtse.
The MP said that the ministry has finally initiated the work in having the depot in Doksum town, where it will be of great convenience to those involved in Kholongchu hydro project, and more importantly, to the people of six gewogs of Khamdang, Toedtsho, Yallang, Ramjar and Tongshang.
“Currently, people have to travel at great expenses all the way to Chorten Kora or Khiri for fuel and gas,” MP Sonam Dondup Dorji said.
He also requested the ministry to speed up the work as people are looking forward to the depot to be operational soon in the town.
Responding to the question, Lyonpo Lekey Dorji said that the ministry has received repeated proposals from the Local Government on the need of oil and gas depots, and the ministry has conducted a study and identified places in the country to build depots.
Lyonpo said the works for Doksum has started, and the ministry is waiting for the response from the dzongkhag regarding the land on where the oil and gas depot will be constructed.
“The ministry has identified the land but the dzongkhag has not yet approved and agreed on the land to be furnished for setting up depot,” Lyonpo Lekey Dorji said.
He said that the fuel depot in Doksum will be constructed with the help of Barat Petroleum and maneuvered by Druk Petroleum.
The minster assured to start with the construction works and finalize the drawings soon after the ministry receives land details from the dzongkhag.
As of now, Lyonpo said that work has been stuck due to delayed land verification from the dzongkhag as the Trashiyangtse is unable to confirm the land because of new Doksum township program.
“Yet the officials from the Trade Department is in touch with the dzongkhag,” Lyonpo said.
In efforts to make oil and gas easily accessible to the people, the ministry plans to set up an oil depot in Lhamoizingkha under Dagana, another two depots in Tingtibi and Panbang under Zhemgang. Depots will be built in Samdrupcholling dungkhag under Samdrupjongkhar, Dagana, and Dangdung in Trongsa, Kanglung under Trashigang, and Nganglam under Pemgatshel.
Meanwhile, Gasa will get its first oil and fuel depot tomorrow, and similarly Jhomotshangkha under Samdrupjongkhar will also get its first fuel and gas depot in July 15.
Currently, there are about 48 oil and gas depots in the country and the economic affairs ministry is also looking for other possible places in the country to construct oil and gas depots in the next scheme.