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Updated: September 20, 2012 11:32 IST

IOC plant resumes operations; dealers worry about backlog

Staff Reporter
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Sufficient bulk LPG stock available for bottling, says company

Indian Oil Corporation’s LPG bottling plant at Udayamperoor resumed operations on Wednesday to the great relief of consumers in the district, though dealers, left with a daunting backlog, are a worried lot.

One of the three bottling lines was re-opened in the second shift on Wednesday after the office of the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives cleared the plant. The plant was asked to suspend operations nine days ago after an accident in which 18 tonnes of LPG leaked into the open.

Quick reaction from the IOC officials, who used the safety arrangements at the bottling plant to disperse the gas, averted a major accident. However, the State Departments of Factories and Boilers and Explosives swung into action to check the facilities.

This was followed by checks by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) officials. The green signal from PESO came on Tuesday though the State department of Factories and Boilers had cleared the plant last Friday.

The IOC statement said that there was adequate bulk LPG stock available at the Kochi plant for bottling operations. The team of officials at Indian Oil “is making all out efforts to maximise supplies and reduce backlog by working through the weekend, including holidays. It is also persuading the bulk LPG transporters to place their trucks for moving bulk LPG from Kochi and Mangalore so that bulk supplies are not affected for continued operations of the bottling plant”

Adequate safety measures are being ensured for safe operation of the plant to bottle LPG cylinders, the IOC statement added.

Supply backlog

LPG dealers in the district have said they were facing substantial backlog, though one of them said he was greatly surprised to see a decline in the number of consumers resorting to panic booking.

The dealer told The Hindu that he was surprised that people were not blaming the system for the delays in LPG delivery and that they were cooperative in these hard times.

Another dealer said that the situation could be in control within a week if the supplies are rationalised in such a way that the most needy are catered to. His point is that if 100 people demanded immediate delivery of a cylinder, only 40 to 45 of them really need the refill.

An Indane dealer on the outskirts of Kochi said that there was a backlog of around 7,000 cylinders for him. Another dealer said that supplies of around 30 days were pending. Yet another said that his supply backlog was for about 50 days.

Most of the dealers handle upto two loads, a little more than 600 cylinders on a normal supply day. However, normal supplies have been disrupted since early January for various reasons, said one of the dealers.

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