An increasing number of people have started coming forward with complaints with regard to the reliability and trustworthiness of the Druk Petroleum Pump located opposite the Tarayana foundation building in Thimphu.
A similar complaint from different people is that the fuel from the station does not last long.
Coincidentally, the petrol pump machine does not show the monetary value of the fuel being pumped in, but instead it has a piece of paper pasted on the machine showing only a Nu 58.85 per unit cost of fuel.
Though this defect has been there for a long time the petrol pump has not bothered to repair it. The combination of this and the rapidly finishing fuel from customers cars who come there have lead to questions and allegations of people being shortchanged by the staff there.
30 year old Sangay Jamtsho noticed that the fuel does not last the normal duration when compared to fueling elsewhere. He said, “I fueled my car with Nu 1000 last time but it hasn’t lasted like before and I suspect that I was cheated since the rate is not shown in the machine”.
Another customer, Dechen Wangmo who is a taxi driver said “I never fuel my car from that depot other than the one located near Lungtenzampa and Mothithang ever since I heard from my friends that the vehicle is not fueled properly and the machine is not responding”.
Another private individual Dorji also had an unpleasant experience at the pump. She said, “As soon as I reached the pump the staff there kept motioning my car forward even though it was near the pump to the point I could not see how many liters was going into my car. As I passed by I noticed that the part showing monetary value had a piece of paper over it.”
She said, “For Nu 500 I got only one bar up on my car fuel meter and the fuel finished in no time but from another pump I got three bars of fuel for the same amount and the fuel lasted much longer. I feel cheated.”
There are also other anecdotal tales of caution to avoid the dodgy operations at this particular pump.
The regional manager of Druk Petroleum, Nima Tshering said, “It could be that the customers failed to put their fuel level to zero but I’m also not sure if the handy boys are cheating the customers”. He said that a surprise checkup is done sometimes and no problems have been found so far and they also did not receive any official complaints from any customers so far.
Out of four fuel machines located three pumps are electronic which is plagued with frequent breakdowns. Currently two of the pumps are not in use as electric pumps require a canopy to protect it from rain and water.
The manager said repair and maintenance will be started once the construction of canopy is done. “Even if the repair is done, it would be in vain since the canopy is required first and the machines are old too” he added.
The one under use is a mechanical pump and one electronic pump.
The manager said that ‘except for the lack of facility to show the rate’, the mechanical pump has got more advantage compared to electronic pumps in case of repair and maintenance.
Currently the fuel depot claims to sell anywhere between 2000 to 5000 liters per day.
The regional trade director, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs said “So far there aren’t any complaints regarding fuel issues but people are always welcome to complain and we are then going to go and check if there are any issues”