Local contractors affected by hike in fuel prices

In Trashigang, the price of diesel is Nu 101.8 a liter and Nu 96.26 for a liter of petrol

The residents of Trashigang, especially local contractors and car owners, are feeling the pinch of the soaring fuel prices, which saw drastic increases about two weeks ago.

In Trashigang, the price of diesel is Nu 101.8 a liter and Nu 96.26 for a liter of petrol.

A bolero vehicle owner, Phurpa Dorji, whose sole income for the family is from his car which earns him around Nu 1,200 a day, said what he earns through ferrying people and things have been affected with the increase in fuel prices.

“As we own a private car, we have to reduce the fare than what taxis charge,” said Phurpa Dorji, who is currently using his vehicle to transport cements and other materials.

He said it makes him earn around Nu 1,000 a trip.

Another bolero owner, Norbu, who had come to the fuel station to change his gas cylinder, said he also got his car refueled to cut the expenses of having to come again to fill fuel in his vehicle.

“I paid around Nu 1,500 for 15 liters of diesel, while we used to get around 25 liters with the same amount earlier,” Norbu added.

Many vehicle owners like Norbu, who depend on their vehicles for livelihood, say they have no choice than to fuel up despite the drastic increase in fuel prices.

Meanwhile, a few local contractors said there are incurring loss due to the increased fuel prices.

A local contractor, Nidup, said it has now become expensive to fuel up and to carry materials to the sites.

“It is also hampering our works. Already the prices of construction materials have gone up, and even fuel now has become more expensive,” Nidup said, adding that even his friends, who are into construction in other places in Trashigang, are facing the same problems.

He said he has to fuel up his vehicle three times a week as to transport materials for his work every day.

“Our works are really getting hampered. Even the little money that we get from our work is all getting used up to pay more for fuel,” Nidup said, adding that if the fuel prices remain the same as they are now, he would rather stay home after his present work ends.

According to some of the local contractors, if things continue to remain the same, then they might have to stop looking for contract works.

“What is the point if we don’t earn and there is no profit at the end of our work?” another local contractor asked. “This is the aim that every individual goes to or for work.”

A local resident, who works at a construction site, said the working environment is not the same as earlier and that materials have become more expensive to get and their supplies often get delayed; thus having to stop he works.

‘Being a villager and working at construction sites is the only option we have to feed our family,” he added.

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang