Serpentine queues, heated arguments between customers and gas agency dealers

This festive season, short supply of domestic gas cylinders is dampening the celebrations at many houses in twin cities. The usual festive buzz is missing and on the contrary, serpentine queues and heated arguments between customers and gas agency dealers is what one witnesses at the dealership outlets.

It is taking over two weeks for consumers to receive the cylinders, despite booking them after the stipulated 21days interval for a gas refill. Taking advantage of the situation, traders in black market are making a brisk business.

It takes nearly a month to receive cylinders and many are forced to purchase them from black market, shelling nearly Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 per cylinder against the regular price of Rs. 342. Forget about sweets and savouries, it is tough to meet our daily needs this festive season, says Federation of Association of Colonies and Apartments president V. Kamesh Babu.

There are over 25 lakh domestic gas cylinder customers in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts and there are just 110 dealers to ensure regular supply. Due to the short supply, only 15 to 16 lakh consumers get regular supply every month and the rest are forced to wait, says D. Ashok Kumar, president Twin Cities Gas Dealers Association.

As Ramzan, Ganesh and Onam festivals were celebrated almost together, there was a surge in the demand. This apart, the dip in temperature has resulted in increased consumption as many prefer to take bath with hot water and consume only hot food, alerts Mr. Kumar.

On the other hand, oil company authorities cite incessant rainfall and bad roads for the delay in transportation of cylinders and eventually affecting the supply.

“Despite the delay in transportation, we have managed to meet the consumers demand with the same quota as supplied during the same month last year. In addition to this, we are working on Sundays and holidays to ensure regular supply,” says a Regional Manager of an oil company.

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