Consumers resorting to panic booking (seeking refill when actually not required) of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) refills, has resulted in distributors and petroleum corporations facing enormous problems in maintaining normal supply schedule.

Consumers resorting to panic booking (seeking refill when actually not required) of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) refills, has resulted in distributors and petroleum corporations facing enormous problems in maintaining normal supply schedule.

A senior petroleum corporation official said that there had been sudden spurt in booking for LPG refills in recent times. When the refill requests are honoured by generating cash memo, the delivery boys come back with the returned refills.

The reason cited is many of the customers who had booked refills were found not having an empty cylinder to avail themselves of the refill.

This is a clear indication of the practice of resorting to panic booking.

Then, the booking will have to be cancelled and the customer will book again.

This induces a lot of stress on the system and strain on the delivery mechanism.

This results in an artificial demand on distributors as well as oil corporations.

Waiting period

Such bookings will also result in elongation of the waiting period for refills.

Normally, there used to be demand for LPG during Deepavali season, but this year such a demand was non-existent.

There is adequate stock of bulk LPG at the ports and at the bottling plants of almost all the three oil corporations who are into the LPG market.

Even bottling activities are in full pace, turning out the required number of refills, every day.

Under such circumstances, the oil corporations and distributors would be able to honour the refill requests in a minimum waiting period of two to four days.

The official said that Indian Oil Corporation’s Indane has 20 lakh customers served by 125 distributors in the region, followed by over 6 lakh connections by Bharatgas. Hindusthan gas has about five lakh customers.

The major player in the market Indane has capacity to turn out 90 loads (306 cylinders each) from its Negamam bottling plant, 70 loads from its Perundurai plant and 60 loads from Salem plant.

There is adequate bulk in stock and in transit and there is no room for scarcity.

To ensure smooth supply and avert backlog, sources said that people with single cylinder facility need to book three to four days before their existing cylinder was expected to turn empty and those with double bottle cylinder could book after one of the cylinders turns empty.

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