LPG shortage puts consumers in a fix

LPG shortage puts consumers in a fix
Dimapur LPG consumers stand in queue at Dhobinala in Dimapur on Friday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, OCT 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/5/2018 11:41:53 AM IST

Shortage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Dimapur is giving a hard time to the consumers, who despite booking for LPG cylinder in advance fail to get their refills on time.

Scenes of consumers queuing up for long hours in front of LPG distributing agency offices to place an order for the refilled cylinder has resurfaced since mid August across Dimapur town. It may be mentioned that consumers have to place an order or book LPG 21 days in advance.

Even as the subsidised cooking gas (LPG) price was hiked recently by Rs 2.89 per cylinder to Rs 502.4 per cylinder, LPG has become a scarce commodity for people in town. There appears to be a huge gap between the demand and supply of LPG cylinders.  Talking to Nagaland Post, a consumer complained that she had been waiting in front of the agency just to book LPG since wee hours. 

It was reported that price of LPG cylinder in the black market has touched Rs. 1400. The actual rate of the same for consumers with gas card recently rose from Rs. 840 to Rs. 940.

In the absence of an effective SMS or an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system or even the facility of booking over the telephone, the consumers had no option but to give up other important activities and stand in queue just to book for a refilled cylinder. 

Talking to this reporter, some of the consumers, who had been in the queue at Dhobinala junction since early morning, claimed that the distributors have expressed their inability to deliver refilled cylinders to consumers due to shortage of cylinders.

“Dealers say delay of supply of cylinders is inevitable. But at the same time one can get the cylinder from a broker by paying extra Rs. 500”, lamented an elderly woman standing in the queue. 

Another consumer complained that the minimum period to book a refilled cylinder was 21 days, but even after placing the order the consumers were made to wait for more days. Most of the consumers complained that gas agencies have started charging exorbitant rate for delivery while some pointed out that irregular subsidy has added to their woes.

Despite the attempts by the district administration to address the issue, the consumers said their grievances have remained unsettled.

The responsible authorities could not be reached for comment about the scarcity of LPG.

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