LPG dealers say they have no role in the shortage of cooking gas in district

The local unit of the All India LPG Distributors Federation here has blamed the oil companies and the district administration for the crisis in cooking gas distribution here.

Condemning the reported official move to act against the LPG distributors in connection with the crisis, the federation said the crisis was due to the short-supply of cooking gas by various petroleum companies.

The LPG distributors had nothing to do with the delay in transferring the subsidy amount to the consumer’s bank account or with the short-supply of cooking gas by the oil companies, federation office bearers said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference, R. Madhu, federation district president, N.M. Raju, vice-president, George Varghese, secretary, and Roy Vadakkethil, treasurer, also accused the district administration of making avoidable statements against the LPG distributors, without studying the ground reality.

The strike by workers attached to the oil companies, demanding bonus in connection with the Onam festival, had led to a serious crisis in the cooking gas distribution in the southern districts of Kerala.

Though the government had managed to reach cooking gas to consumers in Thiruvananthapuram from the Madurai plant in Tamil Nadu during the Onam season, the crisis hit the four districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Kottayam.

Irked by the short supply, the some consumers had made innocent distributers targets of their ire, the distributors federation alleged.

The federation said the district administration and the oil companies should have made alternate arrangements to ensure prompt distribution of cooking gas to the consumers in the district, which had 2,80,000 LPG consumers attached to 17 agencies. The average daily requirement of LPG in the district was 7,500 cylinders and the backlog created due to the trade union strike at the oil companies was estimated at one lakh cylinders, they added.

The official machinery knew that it would take not less than two weeks to clear the backlog created due to the strike and the distributors had no role in the present crisis. Yet they were being guilty for no fault of theirs, the forum alleged.

The LPG distributers also had nothing to do with either the payment of subsidy through the direct benefit transfer scheme, it said.

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