LPG consumers throng depots

TIRUPUR, DEC. 6. Housewives in this hosiery town are a harried and angry lot these days. Continuous shortage of cooking gas cylinders for domestic consumers has put them in a quandary.

As hundreds of consumers thronged distribution points on Sunday with empty cylinders, it was a chaotic scene here. Amidst a huge gap between demand and supply, a leading agency, situated at Kongu Main Road on Uthukuli Road here, started a new system of delivery for those unavailable at home on weekdays.

The agency had arranged for spot delivery of cylinders on Sundays, straight from the lorry on some ground. But, after waiting for hours together, many returned disappointed without getting a new cylinder.

According to the distributor, normal supply would resume soon. He said the problem was mainly due to "panic booking" by consumers.

"The supply was normal till last month. The demand has increased after Deepavali, with the winter approaching."

High prices alleged

Many consumers alleged that they had to pay a higher price for the cylinders. They said that cylinders sold for commercial and other industrial purposes at a premium of Rs. 400 per cylinder, as against its price of Rs. 290, was the crux of the problem. But the distributor said the allegation was baseless.

"Since, we have gas connections, we cannot get kerosene from the ration shop. What will we do without gas or kerosene?" asked Devaki, a housewife.

Meanwhile, the Tirupur Revenue Divisional Officer, S. Palanisamy, said he had received several complaints of over-charging and undersupply of gas cylinders. Mr. Palanisamy said, "I have ordered the officials concerned to check whether the shortage is an artificial one and whether the complaint of over-charging is true."

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