LPG distributors threaten shutdown over backlog

May 27th, 2011 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, May 27 (IANS) LPG distributors in the country’s northwest region have threatened a shutdown if public sector oil companies do not take immediate steps to clear the backlog of gas cylinders, a distributors’ group official said Friday.

A meeting of the All India LPG Distributors Federation (North Western Region) held here said that unless immediate steps were taken by oil companies to clear the backlog of supply of cylinders, the distributors would be compelled to take drastic measures.

“The core group decided that if no improvement in backlog and of working conditions is made, the federation will launch an agitation which will include ‘dharna’ (sit-in) before the oil company offices and the distributors will down their shutters indefinitely,” federation general secretary Reet M.P. Singh said.

Distributors from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh took part in the meeting. The federation said it will give the oil companies a 15-day notice.

“There is a backlog ranging from 20-30 days with HP Gas, 12-15 days with Bharat Gas and 7-12 days with Indane distributors,” Singh said.

Customers were being harassed due to the backlog and distributors had to face their wrath, he said.

“It has created an alarming, difficult and volatile work environment for the hapless distributors. They have to face the wrath of both the consumers and district administration for no fault of theirs,” Singh added.

He pointed out that earlier backlog of LPG cylinders would be only in peak winter months, but this time the situation has continued well into the summer.

“Distributors find themselves at the receiving end from both the oil companies and the state administrations as they are not able to work while obeying conflicting directions,” he stated.

The federation expressed its concern regarding the huge backlog even in summer months, conflicting rules, regulations and instructions by companies making distributors the scapegoat for shortages and malpractices in the trade and no increase in commission to distributors for the last two years.

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