part two of “What Every Nepali needs to know about petrol from China”

Buckle your seatbelt.

Yesterday’s blog entry about Petrol from China got 16,500 views and lots of comments. It was loaded with maps and statistics. I got lots of feedback.

There were still people who said I was a pessimist.

But it will be fine because -it needs to be fine!

that seemed to be the attitude.

Wishing will not make it so. Throwing a tantrum like a two-year-old, and calling names at anybody who disagrees, will not make it so either.

The Kathmandu Post described the plan to start an actual petrol shipment this week. Click here to read it. It’s possible that some of the oil will get from China to Nepal this week. The question is, whether that can happen every day, in quantities large enough. One kilo-liter of fuel may seem like a lot – but in normal times, it would only fuel the city for two or three days.

Here is the same road I described, with photos and videos.

Artists rendering from Kathmandu Post, showing shiny N.O.C. trucks at Rasuwa border crossing. This week there is a convoy of one million liters of petrol being shipped from China - and Nepal is sending 25 of their smaller petrol transports to bring it to Kathmandu.

Artists rendering from Kathmandu Post, showing shiny N.O.C. trucks at Rasuwa border crossing. This week there is a convoy of one million liters of petrol being shipped from China – and Nepal is sending 25 of their smaller petrol transports to bring it to Kathmandu.

the route is called the Arniko Highway. When gets to Rasuwa, the name changes to Friendship Highway.

Dec 19th update: click here for an article about the effects of the landslide on the two towns.

Friendship Highway first

Click here for an excellent Photo essay.

Here’s one about five minutes long.

There is a site called “World’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Roads” and the Friendship Highway was #2.

#2 Measuring 5,476 km and running from Shanghai to Zhangmu along the Nepal border, Sichuan-Tibet highway is not only China’s longest road but it is also one of the world’s most dangerous roads. The road has a record of more than a whopping 7,500 deaths for every 100,000 motorists who use it every year. The road will take you through vast landscapes with peaks vaulting skyward. Climate here is quiet unpredictable and it could change right in front of you. It is suicidal to driving fast on this road.

The Tibetan Plateau is generally about 14,000 feet or more in elevation above sea level. It is difficult to maintain blacktop in the cold conditions there.

The Tibetan Plateau is generally about 14,000 feet or more in elevation above sea level. It is difficult to maintain blacktop in the cold conditions there.

La Lungma pass is about the same elevation as Thorung La pass, the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit. Snow can fall at any time.

La Lungma pass is abot the same elevation as Thorung La pass, the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit. Snow can fall at any time.

This is on the Chinese side a few Km north of Rasuwa. It gets muddy. The risk of landslide does not end just because you are out of Nepal.

This is on the Chinese side a few Km north of Rasuwa. It gets muddy. The risk of landslide does not end just because you are out of Nepal.

Landslides are one thing. falling rocks are another.

Landslides are one thing. falling rocks are another.

The Border Crossing

The actual bridge from Nepal to China. This town was damaged by nearby landslides.

The actual bridge from Nepal to China. This town was damaged by nearby landslides.

This is a “Tank Farm” – something they do not have at Rasuwa. The policy is to offload the oil from a Chinese Truck to a Nepali truck. Each nation’s trucks stay within their own country or at least close. Without a tank farm the process of transferring is slower. Make you rown guess as to how long it will take to build this in Rasuwa.

Arniko Highway.

Click here for an excellent narrative of the conditions of the Arniko Highway. This was written for a Tour Company, to entice Western tourists to go to Lhasa !

When you find these videos and pictures, you have to be careful to see the year. Here is one from 2012. The road is “better” since then – sort of.

Much of the road follows a deep river gorge. The Nepal portion drops nearly 10,000 feet in 90 miles. Picture a truck loaded with fuel going downhill. Actually, convoys of trucks. The first convoy will be 25 trucks. Kathmandu was getting hundreds of trucks a day from Birgunj.

Much of the road follows a deep river gorge. The Nepal portion drops nearly 10,000 feet in 90 miles. Picture a truck loaded with fuel going downhill. Actually, convoys of trucks. The first convoy will be 25 trucks. Kathmandu was getting hundreds of trucks a day from Birgunj.

Switchbacks on the Chinese side, going down to Zhangmu. You can do your own websearch using “Zhangmu” or any of these terms.

The Kodari Landslide

This was on the Nepal side. crews worked around the clock to fix this road.

The April 2015 earthquake caused landslides that blocked every crossing in to China. The one at Kodari blocked the Arniko highway. it is presently one lane.

The April 2015 earthquake caused landslides that blocked every crossing in to China. The one at Kodari blocked the Arniko highway. it is presently one lane. surprisingly, this photo is from 2006! this is a recurring problem and could happen again. http://www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com/Tibet/Kathmandu%20To%20Nyalam/slides/03%20Landslide%20On%20Arniko%20Highway%20Just%20Before%20Kodari.html

The Potala Palace

Potala Palace, legendary seat of power of the Dalai Lamas. Many refugees from the Chinese takeover of Tibet resettled in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is now a center of Tibetan Buddhist study.

Potala Palace, legendary seat of power of the Dalai Lamas. Many refugees from the Chinese takeover of Tibet resettled in Kathmandu. Kathmandu is now a center of Tibetan Buddhist study.

As I wrote yesterday, the challenges of using the Arniko Highway are formidable. Just from a standpoint of the road conditions I do not think it is possible.

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7 thoughts on “part two of “What Every Nepali needs to know about petrol from China”

  1. I’m hearing stories of adulterated petrol being sold on the black market, which is sad but inevitable maybe. So people are paying a small fortune for a couple of litres of fuel and then having their car break down.

  2. Nepal has huge hydroelectric and solar potential. In the long term surely the way to reduce Nepal’s dependence on both India and China for energy needs is to develop that potential and then mandate the use of electric taxis and private vehicles in Kathmandu and other populous centres.
    .

  3. Pingback: Petrol Tankers Blocked by Snow? The end of fantasy in Nepal-China oil deal Guest Post from SIngapore Petrochemical Expert | The Sacrament of the Goddess – a Novel of Nepal

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