TAMIL NADU

LPG consumers worried



R. Sundaram

Consumers asked to wait for 20 to 25 days

ERODE: Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumers of Erode, Chennimalai, Gobichettipalayam, Bhavani and Sathyamangalam are a distressed lot.

And, not without reason. Every time they book an LPG cylinder, the reply from the dealer is: "you will get the cylinder in 20 to 25 days".

Inadequate stock

Dealers of Bharat Petroleum say they do not receive sufficient stocks from the company. However, company representatives say their supply has been adequate, and wonder why there is delay in the supply.

Interestingly, the company has taken no action against the dealers for the delay.

In Gobichettipalayam recently, president of madhar sangam A.R. Kalaivani submitted a memorandum with Sub-Collector Ansul Misra stating that LPG consumers faced delay in getting the cylinders. As there was just one LPG dealer in Gobichettipalayam, she requested for a few more agencies to be opened.

In Bhavani, Consumer Protection Council wrote to Indian Oil Corporation, and the reply was: "There is no fixed time gap for booking or supply of refills, and the 21 days gap mentioned is only a notional period.

In order to ensure that this highly subsidised product is distributed to all, distributors will be supplying refills based on the average consumption pattern, which is about 30 to 35 days per refill depending upon the area.

However, if any genuine customer requires more refills then they can approach our area office with request for the same along with relevant documents".

Raids

Every alternate day, various petroleum firms seize LPG cylinders during raids in hotels, teashops and other places. But, the delay in distribution of the cylinders continues.

Further, the Government's announcement that 14,274 LPG connections would be given to the economically weak before the end of this financial year has worried consumers.

They are apprehensive that this could mean a delay of five or ten more days. However, LPG companies say that the cylinders would be supplied within a week's time.

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