Bangladesh continues LPG supply to Tripura amid coronavirus restrictions

20-03-2020

Agartala, In order to maintain uninterrupted supply of cooking gas, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been importing at least 36 MT LPG daily from neghibouring Bangladesh by road while taking protection against coronavirus pandemic, officials said here today.According to reports, the IOC has employed quarantine facilities for the gas importing tankers at Indo-Bangladesh border before entering into Indian Territory.
The tankers have not been allowed movement or stoppage in between while coming and going except while off-loading the gas bullet at Bishalgarh LPG bottling plant in Sepahijala.“Since the beginning, we are following international quarantine protocol for importing cooking gas,” said a senior official of state civil supplies department, adding that Bangladesh has been exporting liquefied petroleum gas to Tripura with initial shipment of around 1,000 MT per month since the past five months.

Two privately owned firms - Omera Petroleum and Beximco LPG--have been exporting LPG to Tripura by road.Presently, each firm is exporting around 500 MT per month, and the volume may increase to around 2,500 MT shortly, the official stated.Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi had signed an agreement in October last year, which has allowed state-run IOC to import LPG.Accordingly, LPG-carrying tankers have been shipping the fuel to Bishalgarh bottling plant through Bibirbazar land border point at Comilla in Bangladesh.Earlier, the IOC brought LPG for Tripura and other northeastern states from Haldia seaport of West Bengal, which was very expensive and time-consuming. As a result, IOC went into a business deal with Bangladesh and started feeding Bishalgarh plant and expected to extend the supply to other states.

Because of steady waterways connectivity through sea and river ports, Bangladesh is importing fuel from Middle East countries and catering to the domestic market and has now expanded the business to Indian states, the officials added. However, India has closed all land ports with Bangladesh temporarily due to coronavirus pandemic and is only allowing the departure of Bangladeshi nationals coming from other states through Akhaura Land Custom Station (LCS).