IOCL negligence has made state prone to man-made LPG scarcityIMPHAL| Jan 20
Due to the lackadaisical attitude of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), the LPG bottling plant at Sekmai is now left with a limited stock of about nine (9) days only which could lead to a crisis of unavailability of LPG cylinders in the State.
Even in at a time where there are no encumbrance of bandhs, blockades or agitations, the careless attitude and functioning of IOCL has led to the deprivation of regular supplies of LPG cylinders for the people of Manipur.
In order to address the problem of irregular supply of LPG cylinders, an invitation for tenders up to September 1, 2018, for increase in the number of gas bullet tankers were initiated, and 230 numbers of new bullet tank trunks (which can carry a load of about seven metric tonnes) were newly enrolled and used.
From September 2018, the new bullet tankers of which 60 of them can carry a load of 12 metric tonnes and 115 tankers that can carry a load of 7 metric tonnes had started importing LPG from Guwahati Bottling Plant (BP), Nunmati BP, Dulliajan BP, Gopanari BP and Bongaigaon BP to the state and the LPG bottling plant at Sekmai which has a capacity of storing 1700 metric tonnes of LPG.
And it was the first time in the history of the state that the bottling plant at Sekmai has been loaded to its full capacity which remained till December 11 of 2018 and even then tankers were left stranded on the outskirts of the BP.
But due to the carelessness of the authorities of IOCL, the stock of LPG has significantly reduced after a short period with the stock amounting up to about 980 metric tonnes.
The stock of LPG available now is almost the equivalent of nine days used by consumers in Manipur which is about 100 to 130 metric tonnes daily.
The main reason behind the reason of the limited stocks is totally man-made as the bullet tankers are unnecessarily stalled by IOCL authorities at the loading sites at Assam due to the erratic timings.
At least 5 to 10 days are wasted by the gas bullet tankers while waiting for loading which has also subsequently created severe hindrances and caused mental harassment for the drivers too along with the insecurity faced by the public of Manipur due to the unavailability of LPG cylinders.
It is rather unfortunate that the issue of shortage of LPG is happening when there are no problems of bandhs, blockades or any sorts of encumbrances.
It is important that the shortage of LPG stock at Sekmai BP and the inconvenience faced by the people of Manipur due to the non-availability of LPG cylinders on open sales should be closely investigated by the authorities at Sekmai BP and IOCL. And due to the halt at the loading points at Assam, which is the fault of IOCL, the gas bullet tankers are only able to carry about three (3) trips per month; and with the advent of the cold season, this has created unwarranted troubles and inconveniences for the drivers, owners of the vehicles and the LPG consumers of the State.
It is the wish of the people of Manipur that the officials of IOCL and CPM, Sekmai BP along with the DGM, LPG (Operations) LPG and DGM (in-charge), LPG, Nunmati, Guwahati that they take close investigations in order to ensure that the gas bullet tankers from Manipur are loaded in time and resolve the crisis of non-ability of LPG cylinders in the State, since the irregular loading of LPG has created a back log of one to two months for consumers. It might not be wrong to say that the crisis of back logs of LPG is only faced by the consumers of Manipur.
Even at the nearing of the month of January, the gas distributers in Manipur are currently delivering consumers who have booked for their LPG cylinders in the month of November 2018 and before; and there are no indications to back–up the back-logs which has resulted in a situation where consumers are seeming to beg the distributers for their rightful shares. Consumers are often seen waiting in long queues waiting precious time and energy when it is indeed the rightful time for agencies to even make home deliveries in time.
Appeals from the side of the gas bullet tankers’ drivers to the authorities of IOCL for regular loading of LPG seems to remain unheeded; and it is high time that the higher officials of IOCL order their subordinates that the loading of LPG are ensured on time.
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