Kashmir faces shortage of 6000 gas cylinders per day

Consumers Are Not Beggars, They Pay And Can’t Be Made To Suffer: High Court

D A RASHID

Srinagar, Nov 2: Negating its claims that Kashmir had adequate supply of cooking gas, the State Government Friday admitted in the High Court that Kashmir division was facing shortage of 6000 LPG cylinders per day.
Responding to a court direction about the requirement of gas cylinders in Kashmir division, the State Government submitted an affidavit before the court stating that the total number of gas cylinders required for winter in Kashmir is 18000 cylinders per day while in summer there is a requirement of 14000 cylinders. The current supply position has been stated as 12634 cylinders per day.
The Government stated that there are only 46 LPG distributors in Kashmir and 22 more locations have been advertised for distributors at 14 locations.
“On an average, monthly sale of 600 LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg each invites 1800 customers,” the affidavit states.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on the gloomy situation of gas distribution, a Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Hasnian Massodi directed the State Government to constitute a Task Force of officers to supervise the supply and distribution of gas. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar Samoon, who was present in the court, informed that oil companies were not cooperating with the State Government which resulted in the sufferings of consumers.
Observing that the present crisis warrants an immediate attention, the court directed the oil companies to sit together to hammer out a solution to the problems of people with regard to distribution of LPG gas cylinders.
Taking strong note of remarks that ‘something is better than nothing’ by Anil Bhan representing one of the oil companies about the supplies in Kashmir, the Bench observed, “The consumers are not beggars, they pay for the cooking gas and can’t be made to suffer.”
The court observed that the counters for verification of documents should be multiplied to mitigate the sufferings of people and steps should be taken to open more gas distribution outlets.
Observing that the suffering of public cannot be winked at, the court asked the oil companies to make available both subsidized and non-subsidized gas cylinders to the consumers as per their requirements.
The court directed the oil companies to accept the applications for verification of documents of gas connections through Internet to make the process easier for the consumers.
In reply to the direction about delivery points, the Government stated that it had notified distribution points for sale of LPG in Srinagar city through newspapers for the information of general public.
“The officials of CA&PD department were ordered to monitor each LPG delivery point to facilitate proper distribution of LPG. Flying squads were constituted for avoiding chances of monopoly of LPG distributors and to monitor the supply and distribution,” states the affidavit.
It states that till necessary papers are updated, the connections of the consumers -having genuine documents and existing on the database of oil companies -have been unblocked and are supplied refill irrespective of whether the KYC form has been completed or not.
“However, such customers shall compulsorily need to complete Know Your Consumer (KYC) formalities before he is released the next supply. Further, almost 25 percent of the consumers having no documents are not being provided LPG refills as there is no provision for such consumers as per the revised policy on LPG,” the Government affidavit states.
It states that oil companies have been asked to implement the rosters for supply of LPG at the delivery points, which were already in place as per past practice.
Director CA&PD department Mir Mushtaq, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Baseer Khan and officials of oil companies were present in the court.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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