LPG Home Delivery yet to take off in Valley

Consumers make beeline for gas refill

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Dec 18:  Despite the clear directions from the state government to oil companies to start home delivery of gas cylinder cylinders in winter, the LPG dealers in the Kashmir valley are yet to comply with the instructions resulting in inconvenience to the consumers who to had wait in a long queue to get gas refill.
 The non-compliance of the government order has further complicated the problem for masses who still are doing rounds of various gas outlets to complete registration of LPG connections in the chilly winter. 
 “There is no home delivery of LPG; the dealers are taking consumers for the ride. Every time government comes with statements that they have made home delivery for the dealers available, but at the ground there is no compliance of such statement and ultimately it is people who  have to suffer,” said Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, a local resident.
 Consumers have complained that despite bookings online, the gas agencies failed to deliver them at the doorsteps.
 “I had book HP Gas a month back online as directed by the oil companies but the agency has failed to deliver it at my home,” said Mohsin Ahmed, a resident of Nigeen.
 Reports from the rural areas say that situation is far worse, “Leave aside home delivery, we don’t even get LPG cylinder and getting a refill is very difficult in our area,” said Aaqib Ahmad Dar, a resident of Tral.
 Dar accused local administration in Tral of being hand in glove with the LPG dealers who he says are charging them arbitrarily, “We have submitted our documents a month back, but he is charging us
 Rs 1, 000 to everyone who asks for registration. All this is going under the nose of police station,” he accused.
 Consumers in Chaadora are also aghast over shortage of cooking gas in the area. “Ironically the gas distributor from where we are entitled to get refills is situated at Karan Nagar in Srinagar city miles away from our residence. We have to travel to the gas agency office to get the documentation or other procedures done,” said a delegation from Chaadora area.
 They urged state government to expedite the process of appointing new gas dealers/agencies to mitigate the suffering of people especially in rural areas.
 The consumers’ woes are likely to increase with the dropping temperatures. Besides, the supply lines in the Valley get choked due to closure of roads due to snowfall.
 Dealers, on the other hand, say they face certain hurdles in home delivery. “The gas dealers are busy in update the cooking gas connections,” said a gas dealer wishing not to be named.
 “There is dire need of increasing gas dealers as the existing dealers won’t be able to suffice to the requirement of the consumers,” he opined.
 Experts blame less number of LPG dealers as the genesis of current LPG crisis. 
 ”The restricted number of LPG dealers, who monopolize the supply of cooking gas in the Valley, is in fact the major contributory factor to the problem haunting the consumers here,” they said.
 Surprisingly, there are only 43 gas dealers operating in the Valley while as per all –India norms there should have been around 1700 distributors here to cater to the requirement of 10 lakh LPG consumers.
  As per the current dealer-consumer ratio, every dealer in the valley on an average caters to around 23,000 consumers while as per all-India norms a dealer has to cater to 600 consumers.
 Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Qamar Ali Akhoon told Greater Kashmir that: “I have directed the Oil companies to provide home delivery of LPG cylinders.”

Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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