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February 2016 - Update from Nepal

10 February 2016 - In the past few days media reports from Nepal suggest that the various political parties that have been causing major disruptions and closure to business and daily life in general for many months, in the Terai Districts of Nepal along the Nepal/India border, have called off their protests and closures. It is also reported that India has also allowed vehicles and goods to pass the border points and has also decided to supply fuel to Nepal Tankers, as required, as they had done previously before their Blockade of the border points.

This change of situation has seen hundreds of tankers and cargo vehicles crossing into Nepal with essential supplies. There are still some black market problems but this should not continue to be a problem much longer if supplies begin to return to normal. Although fuel, food and other essential items are being supplied the supply of cooking gas (for LPG cylinders) is still being restricted. It will probably take weeks, if not months for things to return to normal but the present improving situation will be welcomed by all the people of Nepal across the country.

How this changing situation will affect the Tourism Industry with the Spring Season only weeks away is unknown at this time but we can only hope for positive results. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has suggested that it should be able to once again supply Aviation Fuel and decided it is able to resume refuelling services for international airlines at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu from February 16. Refuelling services have not been available for international airlines for more than four and a half months because of the Indian blockade of the border crossing points. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) also suggests that the severe restrictions of fuel to all vehicles could also end within two weeks. This could be a positive sign for the tourism industry.

As usual with political situations in Nepal we must wait and see how it will develop and hope that the early signs are positive for the future.

Denis Gallagher
Nepal Trekking
February 201