Dearth of diesel at fuel depots

Boro cultivation in the northern region of the country may be hindered due to shot supply of diesel in the fuel oil depots in Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj district. The barges and water vessels carrying diesel cannot reach different oil depots in the district in scheduled time due to poor navigability in the river Jamuna.
The three fuel oil depots of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPCP) are ­­­-Padma, Meghna and Jamuna at Baghabari. Sources said that, the demand of diesel for 16 districts of northern region is 2.90 lakh metric tons in the current season. While about 3200-metric tons of diesel is needed per day. But, only 24,700-metric tons of diesel was reserved at three depots-Padma, Meghna and Jamuna at Baghabari until Thursday. Baghabari river port sources said, at least 9 to 13 feet depth is usually required in the river channel for plying of clinker and others goods-loaded vessels and barges. But, the river now has only 6 to 6.5 feet deep water. Consequently, barges and vessels loaded with fertilizer and diesel unable to ply on the river route. Meanwhile, the concerned authorities of BIWTC through advertisement in different electronic and print media directed the contractors and masters of the barges and vessels for suspending the plying of vessels under 6.5 feet draft. They also mentioned that, at least 12 points of 26 kilometers path in the river channel from Mohonganj to Dowlotdia have turned unfit for plying due to drastic fall in the water level.
Baghabari port sources said, a total of 61 barges and vessels were stuck up at different points in the first week of November for want of navigability. Since then, fertilizer and fuel laden barges and vessels have been plying on the route with high risk.
Sources added that, they supply 2700-metric tons of diesel to 370 fuel pumps and over 1000 dealers and 500 metric tons of diesel to three power plants everyday.
About 90 per cent of the total demand is met from the Baghabari depots, while Parbotipur, Rangpur and Chilmary depots fulfill the remaining 10 per cent demand. Meanwhile, Chilmary depot has exhausted. On the other hand, the stock of Padma, Meghna and Jamuna oil depots at Baghabari is not adequate. Agriculture Extension Department office sources said, at least 828 diesel driven deep tube-wells and 5,73,870 non-deep-tube-wells are being operated in the region for irrigation.  If the supply of diesel is not smooth, the water supply from the pumps will not be easy. As a result, farmers of the region are apprehending that, the target of Boro cultivation in the current season may not be achieved.
This correspondent during a visit to Baghabari depots, saw tank lorries were waiting in a long queue for diesel. Some tank lorry drivers and pump owners said, they were not getting fuel as per their demand.
While contacted, Abdul Mazid, in-charge of Jamuna oil Depot, Tipu Sultan, in-charge of Meghna Depot and Ashrafuddin, in-charge of Padma Depot admitting the prevailing shortage said that, the stock of diesel would be exhausted within next five days.
If the fuel loaded barges or vessels are not reached to the depots as soon as early.
Source; The Independent