Distribution outlets sport ‘no supply' boards; backlogs from January end
The impact of the bulk LPG transporters strike, which was withdrawn on Thursday, is likely to be felt for some time and domestic LPG consumers in the city could face longer waiting period to get refills.
Many distribution outlets in the city were still sporting ‘no supply' sign boards on Friday and a section of distributors say that the waiting time could extend beyond 50 days as most of the LPG distributors in the city have backlogs from the first week of February and a few even from January end. Several LPG distributors in the city have put up notice boards in front of their outlets stating that there is no supply owing to the tankers strike.
“We have placed the notice boards as we are flooded with enquiries from consumers on when they would get supply. The notice board is to inform them that we are not responsible for the delay and also to request consumers to cooperate with us,” said a distributor in the city.
Enquiries with LPG distributors revealed that they have not received supplies since March 2 after the LPG transporters commenced the strike from March 1. The strike, the second this year after the first one in mid-January, has put lakhs of consumers into trouble. “The second strike came at a time when the impact of the earlier strike was still being felt in many parts of the district,” said another LPG distributor who did not want to be identified.
Already, consumers in the city had to wait up to 40 to 45 days to get the refills. In some places such as Thuraiyur in Tiruchi district and Perambalur, the wait was even longer as consumers were complaining that they were getting refills only after 65 days.
According to available indications, LPG distributors may start getting supplies only by Monday. The bullet tankers have to go up to Mangalore to transport LPG to bottling plants in various parts of the State. With the strike being withdrawn only on Thursday, it could take two to three days for the bottling plants to get supplies.
The IOC bottling plant at Inamkulathur on the outskirts of the city is one of the major bottling plants supplying to the region. On an average the plant receives about 15 bullet tankers of about 18 tonnes capacity a day. The average daily output from the unit is about 70 truck loads of LPG cylinders. The district gets supplies from various other bottling plants including from Salem and Erode.
LPG distributors would be hard-pressed to clear the backlog. “It could take some time for us to clear the backlog once bottling commences and supplies resume,” said a distributor.