As far as I’m aware, this isn’t really a news item in Europe, but a little over 2 weeks ago, Nepal signed a new constitution. I’m a bit hazy on the details, and the press is quite biased one way or another, but essentially India isn’t happy about something in the newly signed constitution. Hence, they’ve shut the borders. Or, Nepal is upset about India being upset and it’s not safe to cross the border due to violent Nepalis. Either way, it’s difficult to get supplies over the border. This has resulted in a fuel crisis. To deal with this, the government made some rules. First only license plates that ended in a even or uneven number were allowed to drive on particular days, but when you can’t go to the gas station you may not even be able to drive on your day. Immense lines of parked cars at gas stations are seen everywhere and if you want some fuel, you need to get there early.
This has affected many aspects of life obviously. People need to get to work, kids need to get to school, and we need to get to our work sites! I’ve seen masses of people walk up and down hills and mountains before dawn to get to work or school, people pushing cars that ran out of fuel, the taxi prices on which many tourists rely have been doubled or tripled, we start work an hour early (so at 6am…) so that our amazing drivers can go earlier to stand in line for hours to get fuel for the next day… However it’s not only the transport that’s an issue, many kitchens use fuel to cook on, so restaurants close because they can’t cook for anyone, and we currently don’t get to make eggs in the morning, hehe. Besides, we also use generators that run on petrol at the work sites so we can use drills, or use to power our base during daily scheduled loadshedding times (when the power is out).
In social media the hashtag #BackOffIndia has become popular, as Nepal is obviously pretty upset about India meddling with their policitics. Nepal is its own country and has its own government, but they completely rely on other countries, and especially India, to supply them with life’s necessities. Apparently there isn’t even enough rice here to feed the country. And I see rice fields everywhere here!