Inadequate fuel supply leaves LPG auto drivers in Kozhikode a worried lot

LPG autorickshaw drivers in Kozhikode city are complaining that LPG filling stations are not ensuring sufficient stock of gas for their uninterrupted service.  

Leaders of a district-level committee of LPG autorickshaw drivers have accused LPG filling station managements in Kozhikode of negligence, as they have failed to ensure essential stock.

Though there are over 1,500 LPG-powered autorickshaws, there are only five fuel stations in the district, and many go dry during peak hours of service, they add.

“It takes several days or weeks to recharge a dried-up station, as nobody is interested in catering for LPG-powered vehicles in time. Placing purchase orders in advance is not done by fuel station managements,” says A.K. Sajeevkumar, president, LPG autorickshaw drivers’ committee.

LPG autorickshaw drivers say they are frequently denied service in the name of limited stock or unexpected mechanical complaints at the dispensing units.

The laxity in appointing a local team to handle unexpected mechanical errors continues to be a big concern, they allege.

“Now, almost all dispensing stations in the district depend on the service support of technicians from outside the State. It takes several days or weeks to address an issue. They can easily find a local solution to this,” says Mr. Sajeevkumar. According to him, there should be a proportionate increase in the number of LPG filling stations to find a lasting solution to autorickshaw drivers’ struggles.

The drivers’ committee also points out that three out of the five LPG filling stations are located within the Corporation limits, which fail to cater for many rural operators. The two stations opened at Mukkom and Payyoli with an aim to serve rural operators are yet to meet the actual service demand.

With the poor number of easily accessible LPG stations, many rural operators are disinclined to exchange their old petrol and diesel vehicles with LPG variants.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 4:42:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/inadequate-fuel-supply-leaves-lpg-auto-drivers-in-kozhikode-a-worried-lot/article37691874.ece

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