Agartala, Sept. 27: Tripura Assembly today discussed the acute crisis and rampant black-marketing of LPG cylinders in the state as consumers made a beeline for cylinders in front of dealers’ offices.
Minister for food and civil supply Bhanulal Saha said several reasons had combined to create the crisis. He said it would blow over as the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd was trying to supply more cylinders to meet the rising demand.
Saha said Indian Oil had said in July that the production of LPG cylinders in Bongaigaon refinery in Assam had fallen sharply. “There was no production of gas in Assam’s Numaligarh refinery between May 31 and July 5 and in Digboi refinery between June 15 and June 26.” He also held the agitations in Assam for formation of Bodoland and Kamtapur states responsible for the disruption in LPG supply to Tripura.
He said the two LPG bottling plants at Bishalgarh and Kalagachhia in West Tripura district were unable to cope with the rising demand for LPG cylinders. As a result, a backlog had been created all over the state. He said the two plants had been directed to increase production even if they have to pay “overtime wages”.
“We have requested Indian Oil to supply more cylinders from the plant at Silchar in Assam for North Tripura, Dhalai and West Tripura districts,” Saha said. He said Indian Oil and petroleum product dealers had assured him during a meeting on September 11 of help to resolve the crisis.
Saha said the state needed 1,72,535 cylinders every month, except in May and August when the supply was well below the demand. He said the administration was carrying out regular raids to recover gas cylinders hoarded by black marketeers.