| People queue up for LPG cylinders at Bharalumukh. File picture |
April 25: The supply of cooking gas in city is expected to become normal only by June given the “insufficient availability” of bulk LPG in the country.
Jayanta Madhav, the chief area manager, Guwahati, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), told The Telegraph that the problems being faced by consumers and distributors is not Guwahati-specific but an all-India phenomenon.
Bulk LPG is basically the tanker that takes cooking gas to the bottling plants before being transferred to cylinders.
Seeking the co-operation of the consumers to tide over the shortage, Madhav said the shortfall in Guwahati is almost 4,000 cylinders per day against a requirement of 10,000 cylinders.
The total requirement for the Northeast is around 20 lakh cylinders per month while that of Assam alone is 12.5 lakh cylinders a month.
The shortfall in Assam is said to be 3.95 lakh a month.
Debashis Goswami, the secretary of the North Eastern India Distributors Association, also appealed to the consumers.
“The OIL authorities have said the situation will ease after a month. Till normal supply is restored, we appeal to all LPG consumers to bear with us and use available supplies judiciously. The IOC is doing its best to maintain systematic distribution in face of tremendous pressure of demand,” he said.
Of the 400 distributors in the Northeast, 22 operate in the city.
The shortage has, however, fuelled the blackmarketing of cylinders with each costing anywhere between Rs 700 and Rs 800.
Madhav said the IOC has got in touch with the district administration to help check hoarders and blackmarketeers.
“Raids have been conducted at suspected places but it is a continuous process. We will need the help of the administration to help check this illegal practice,” he said.
Shortage of bulk LPG is one of the prime reasons for the gap between demand and supply.
“For Guwahati, the bulk for LPG production comes from our refineries at Haldia and Barauni. The shortage of bulk LPG is around 4,500MT. The explosion at NRL has also compounded the problem. From NRL we used to get around 4,000MT and another 1,000MT from Digboi refinery, which is currently not functioning. Approximately, 70 per cent of the country’s fuel requirement is imported,” the source said.