5 years on, Kashmir awaits auto LPG filling station
Despite its announcement five years ago, Kashmir is still awaiting for LPG filling station even though thousands of LPG kit installed vehicles have hit the roads forcing their owners to illegally refill domestic cooking gas.
In 2012, after new LPG policy was announced by the centre government restricting subsidy to only 12 subsidized cylinders a year, J&K government in order to provide refill for LPG fitted vehicle announced opening of LPG outlets.
However, five years down the line, not a single unit has been opened in Kashmir, while two LPG filling stations are operational in Jammu.
The Indian Oil Corporation Limited was roped in for commissioning of refilling station. However, there is no visible progress on the ground.
According to officials in the Transport Department there are more than 1.8 lakh vehicles in the state using gas as fuel.
To mention, in the wake of acute shortage of LPG in the Valley, the traders and vehicle owners here had demanded opening of gas filling stations in the state.
Even the officials of CAPD are pitching for setting up of filling stations to cater to LPG requirement in the Valley.
"Most of the people are using LPG as a fuel in their vehicles, which creates shortage of gas in the market and we are not able to cater to the requirements. Nowadays we are witnessing large number of domestic gas cylinders being used in vehicles and for us it is very difficult to check the violation."
Even the Transport Department is allowing registration of the vehicles with gas kits installed in it.
"Many private vehicles being registered are Duo- LPG vehicles. It is irony that government is not thinking how will these vehicles refuel, when there is no LPG filling stations," an official of Regional Transport office said.
Officials said that during winter months it becomes almost impossible to meet the requirements of LPG in the Valley due to its use in the vehicles.
A senior executive of IOCL informed Greater Kashmir that "we have identified a refilling station for commissioning of auto LPG station at Bypass. The process for opening of it is in final stage. We are awaiting NOC from the Deputy Commissioner's office. Following which the station will be made operational."