Adulteration of diesel and petrol has increased after the Nepal Oil Corporation stopped monitoring the purity of fuel at gas stations. Mechanical engineers who inspected the fuels said diesel sold at pumps had 75 percent kerosene mixed in and petrol had 40 percent diesel. Fuel adulterationis why many motorcycles andtrucks, even new ones,break down. "After the Kantipur story on adulteration came out, it went down for 15 days, but now it's as bad as it was," says chief mechanic of Syakar, Sitaram Neupane. NOC's monitoring was terminated after the government was forced to roll back price hikes last month.
Sources said the Ministry of Industries and Supplies had instructed NOC not to do anything until the committee on fuel prices submits its report. Meanwhile, reports say up to 3,000 litres of petrol are smuggled into India every day from Nepalganj alone because of the price differential between India and Nepal.