Consumers in several parts of the city are facing a delay in supply of cooking gas cylinders owing to labour issues at the Indian Oil Corporation’s LPG bottling plant in Ennore.
Residents of Avadi, one of the areas served by the plant, said it took 10 days for Indane distributors to supply the cylinders, in addition to the three-week gap after the booking period.
Following the strike by around 100 contract labourers for the past two days, the number of loads despatched from the plant has come down by half leading to backlog in supplies. Normally 150 loads will be despatched daily from the plant that operates two shifts. “They are trying to reduce the number of workers, citing various reasons. What is the guarantee that our services will be utilised after about one month,” asked a labourer.
IOC sources said it was taking steps to remove defective cylinders and those that were being used beyond expiry dates. “This has caused an inventory problem leading to reduction in bottling. For about 15 to 20 days only one shift would be required. We will make arrangements from other plants so that market supply will not be affected,” explained an official.
Company officials said talks were being held with the union and hoped that they would resume work from Wednesday. “We received supply from plants in Salem and Chengalpet to compensate the shortfall. We expect the situation to become normal by this weekend,” said an official. Divakar A.Selvin, secretary of the LPG Cylinder Transport Contractors’ Association, said that after recent complaints about damaged and expired cylinders, the oil majors were replacing large chunks of cylinders. This had also resulted in the reduction in the number of loads, he said.