Cooking gas distribution in the district is in a state of disarray ever since the introduction of direct benefit transfer.

Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) distributors of various petroleum companies attributed this sorry state of affairs with the short supply of cylinders by the companies. Consumers turning agitated against LPG dealers have become a common scene across the district.

Consumers had even detained the staff inside a gas agency office in Thiruvalla at the sight of a ‘‘no stock’’ board kept in front of the office on Saturday. Many agitated consumers told The Hindu that the staff at the agency were not even ready to hear their genuine grievances over the inordinate delay in LPG supply to them since the past few months.

The consumers complained that many LPG distributors had stopped home delivery system ever since the introduction of the direct subsidy benefit transfer scheme. There were also allegations of out-of-the-way supply of LPG cylinders to small and medium type hotels as well as other eateries by certain dealers.

The situation is worse in Pathanamthitta, Adoor, Ranni, Vadasserikkara, and Thiruvalla.

The district administration and the Akshaya Mission district office have received as many as 1,700 complaints regarding LPG distribution and direct subsidy transfer across the district as on Saturday, according to official sources.

Many consumers complained that they had not received the subsidy amount, even though the LPG portal of various petroleum companies showed that it had already been transferred to the consumers’ bank account.

District Collector Pranab Jyotinath said he had given directions to the District Supply Officer to conduct an inquiry into the entire issue and take action against the guilty, if any.

Mr. Chandramohan, LPG dealer of Bharat Petroleum Company Limited (BPCL) in Thiruvalla, said that agencies should not be blamed for the failure of the company to provide enough stock of cylinders.

Company clarifies

Meanwhile, S. Maheshkumar, territory manager of BPCL in Thiruvananthapuram, said the delay in the supply of LPG cylinders was due to the strike by lorry drivers from September 9 to 24. Moreover, the trade unions were unwilling to work on Sundays and other public holidays. Mr. Maheshkumar said the company had taken efforts to clear the backlog.

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