South Kashmir de-linked from Valley's gas grid

Dealers,Consumers Aghast

LPG Crisis


Srinagar, Nov 4: Delinking south Kashmir from the Valley’s cooking gas grid and linking it with Jammu rail head for LPG supplies is posing immense problems of the consumers and the gas dealers in the area who demand immediate restoration of the supplies from the Pampore bottling plant.
The gas dealers of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) in the south Kashmir complain that the present prac¬tice of the company to supply LPG from Jammu bottling plant has put them under lot of strain.
“During winter months we face lot of hard¬ships as most of the times Srinagar-Jammu highway remains closed due to landslides and other reasons as a result of which our gas sup¬plies get badly affected resulting in tardy LPG distribution in the area,” gas dealerssaid.
They alleged that the Jammu bottling plant doesn’t provide them adequate sup¬plies of cooking gas. “They (Jammu bottling plant) always send restricted number of LPG cylinders which is grossly inadequate to cater to the local requirements, as result of which there is almost always shortage of cooking gas in the market and we get sandwiched between the people and admin¬istration.”
“We have number of times taken up the issue with the concerned authorities but it seems nobody listens to our pleas,” gas dealers lamented.
While people living in the south Kashmir area also demand that they should be provided LPG supply for the local bottling plant, instead of being dependent on bottling plant that is located at a far off place.
“It is irony that despite having Pampore bottling plant in south Kashmir, southern areas of the valley are not being provided supply from the local bottling plant. As a result of which we are facing shortage of LPG in our areas,” a delegation of South Kashmir residents told Greater Kash¬mir.
Pertinently, two legisla¬tors from south Kashmir Rafi Ahmad Mir and Peerzada Man¬soor Hussain have also taken up the issue alleging that the state government for “some mysterious reasons” has linked south Kashmir with Jammu rail head for receiving gas cylin¬ders for the four districts of Islamabad, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama instead of Pampore where from rest of the Valley receives its supplies.
Urging the government to reverse this “sinister decision” the legislators said “there was no valid reason for it and the earlier arrangement should be restored immediately.”
“In Jammu the south Kashmir districts have to share the facility with the districts of that region and even in normal times remain in queue for days,” they said while expressing apprehension that in winters situation could go worse when the highway is prone to frequent blockades due to inclement weather.
A senior official of HPCL told Greater Kashmir that: “We cannot provide LPG supply to south Kashmir areas as it increases the carriage charges of company. If gas is supplied to south Kashmir from Pampore it will increase carriage charges, as first tankers have to unload supply at bottling plant and then send back supplies to south Kashmir.”
He added that Pampore bottling plant has a capacity of 9000 refills, and if we add south Kashmir to it, we won’t be able to make gas supplies to north Kashmir.
They said that the solution lies in setting up another bot¬tling plant somewhere in South Kashmir.

Omar writes to Moily
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who surrendered two extra gas connections on Saturday, has sought the intervention of new Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, to increase the number of subsidized gas cylinders for Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view its topography and chilly winter, officials said.
They said Omar had earlier written a letter to then petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy requesting him to increase the number of subsidised gas cylinder to the state. However, after Reddy was shifted to another ministry, Omar’s letter was presented to new Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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