Shortage of regulators hits new LPG connections

CHENNAI NOV. 7. City households seeking new cooking gas connections have found to their dismay that it would be some time before they get the fuel as the pressure regulators are in short supply with LPG distributors.

Issue of new connections, according to oil industry sources, has come to a near standstill owing to the shortage. "Though we replace damaged regulators with ones surrendered by consumers going on transfer to other cities, it is difficult to meet the demand for new connections", says a distributor in Central Chennai.

While distributors of all the national oil-marketing companies seem to face the problem, the shortage seems to be acute with many Indane cooking gas agencies. "With no supply of the regulators for almost a week now, the list of those waiting for new connections is growing", a distributor in south Chennai, points out. On an average, each Indane distributor in the city provides about 50 connections.

Admitting that there has been "some slippage", an official of Indian Oil Corporation attributed it to delay in the delivery schedule of the equipment. "It is already being addressed and within a week, normalcy would return", he adds.

The picture for the existing consumers of cooking gas in the city is not rosy either as there is delay in supply of the refills (cylinders). Many factors including the recent rain spell, the intervening holidays and a drop in the bulk supplies to the distributors are being cited as reasons for the delay, which has caught many customers unawares.

"Under the assumption that the refill supplies are being effected almost immediately, many households book refills after exhausting their second cylinder", sources among distributors say, adding that the backlog has touched 1,500 with a few of them.

Incidentally, the bookings increase during the first week of every month for obvious reasons. Moreover, consumption of cooking gas during this time of the year is heavy owing to the climatic conditions and the festive season.

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