LPG dealers go on 2-day strike

‘We’re Caught Between Oil Companies' Strictness, Govt Rhetoric’


Srinagar, Nov 5: The LPG crisis seems to be getting worse as the gas dealers in Kashmir valley have called for a two-day strike beginning Tuesday.
All Kashmir Valley Gas Distributors Association Monday held protest demonstrations at Press Enclave here against the State Government and oil companies for “failing to tackle LPG crisis in the valley” and demanded the extension of submission date of Know Your Consumer (KYC) forms.
The dealers alleged that State Government wass creating confusion among the masses by issuing rhetoric statements while oil companies were forcing them to implement new LPG policy in letter and spirit “and if there are some discrepancies we are heavily penalized.”
“We are perturbed due to the new LPG policy as there is no relief for us; despite working tirelessly we are being targeted by both State Government and oil companies. On one side State Government asks us to provide cooking gas to consumers on ration cards, but oil companies don’t allow that as they pressurize us to maintain proper data of consumers and issue cylinders to only those consumers who have genuine documents,” said Khurshid Iqbal Shah, president of the association.
Shah said that gas dealers have decided to go on two-day strike from Tuesday to press for their demand that State Government and oil companies should come up with clear policy vis-a-vis the role of dealers. “We are in a dilemma whether we have to obey orders of State Government or oil companies as the two are most of the times in contrast to each other. If Government and oil companies won’t redress our grievances we will be forced to go on indefinite strike,” Shah threatened.
He alleged that officials in the State Government were threatening them and using a harsh language.
“Today we were made to wait in the office of Divisional Commissioner for two hours. He did not meet us despite the gas dealers, leaving all prior assignments, having come from all parts of the valley to solve the LPG crisis,” he said.
The dealers alleged that ministers, bureaucrats and police officials force them to provide subsidized gas cylinders to them without any documents.
“At every distribution point police officials take 20 to 30 subsidized gas cylinders from us, we cannot do anything as we are helpless. If we issue one subsidized LPG cylinder without getting it registered on online server of oil companies, we are being penalized Rs 2,500 under Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG),” they said.
They said: “We have no problem if the oil companies increase dealership in the summer capital, it is a false notion created by oil companies that we are against the increase in number of gas dealers.”
On the occasion, dealers from south Kashmir demanded that they should be provided gas supply from Pampore bottling plant instead of Jammu gas grid.
On shortage of cooking gas which the State Government in its affidavit in High Court mentioned recently, the dealers said: “Government is misleading the High Court, the figure they have submitted is of that time when cooking gas was being used in vehicles and for commercial purposes, but now demand of LPG per day is around 8,000 cylinders.”

Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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