100 LPG outlets for 25 lakh consumers, 500 petrol pumps for 10 lakh vehicles!

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Oct 31: While the oil companies operating in Jammu and Kashmir have over the years increased their retail outlets for petrol and diesel manifold, they have miserably failed to expand the crucial LPG dealership network in the state for better distribution of cooking gas.
Ironically, J&K has only 101 LPG dealers (43 in Valley and 58 in Jammu) to cater to around 25 lakh consumers, while the existing dealers in connivance with oil companies are “hell bent” on hindering any move to expand the dealership network as they believe that any increase in number of dealers will eat up their profit margin.
In comparison to meager 101 LPG dealers for 25 lakh consumers, J&K has around 500 petroleum retail outlets - thrice the number of cooking gas dealers – for around 10 lakh vehicles.
Sources said pre-2000 there were only 56 retail outlets of petroleum in the Kashmir valley but during the last 12 years the number has swelled up to 203 outlets in the valley. “But at the same time nexus between LPG dealers and oil companies have acted as a barrier in further increasing the number of dealers of cooking gas that has  made LPG distribution in the state very cumbersome for the common people,” they said.
Bilal Ahmad, Secretary, Kashmir Valley Petroleum Dealers Association confirmed that the number of retail outlets in the state have increased from 56 in 2000 to 203 in valley, while the overall number of outlets in the state is 477.
Experts believe that Oil companies should have given preference to increasing the number of LPG dealers instead of retail outlets for petroleum.
The prevailing LPG mess in the state particularly in Kashmir valley is attributed to the restricted number of cooking gas dealers who are not able to cater to the huge number of consumers.
Subsequently the dismal ratio between dealers and consumers has become biggest bottleneck that has been preventing smooth distribution of cooking gas in the valley. While in the rest of the country home delivery of cooking gas is available throughout the year, but here leave aside home delivery getting a gas cylinder is a Herculean task.
A senior official of CAPD told Greater Kashmir that “state government has number of times taken up the issue of increase in LPG dealerships with Oil companies. But they always turn deaf ear to our pleas.”
He said that it is now time for the state government to act “tough” against the oil companies, if they don’t increase the number of LPG dealers in the state. “It seems that they (Oil companies) are running parallel government here they don’t listen to state government neither care about the sufferings of the common people.”

Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 1 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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