On an average every liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) outlet in Jammu and Kashmir caters to 10,354 consumers making consumers to wait for weeks to get their refill.
However, a powerful lobby of distributors, having political contacts, are blocking efforts to open new outlets in the state, especially in Jammu. There are 203 distributors in the state providing 21 lakh connections to consumers.
Officials said the dismal ratio between dealers and consumers in the state had become the biggest bottleneck in streamlining the distribution of cooking gas to consumers, particularly in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, which had the largest number of consumers.
The LPG distribution mechanism in the state is in a total mess as a few people control the distribution of the cooking gas and at times they create an artificial shortage, forcing consumers to wait for days to get a refill. The norms are not being followed in J&K,” said an official of Bharat Petroleum.
Despite assurances by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Department and oil companies that people will not be put to hardships on account of LPG supply in the city, residents still have to wait for 10 to 15 days for getting home delivery of refills.“In most parts of the city, connection holders are told to collect refills themselves or wait for days together, putting people in a lot of trouble. The problem is more for people who are posted outside Jammu,” said Surinder Krishan, a bank employee.Last year, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Department had constituted task forces at the district level, particularly in snow-bound areas of the Jammu region to check black market, but it seems that nothing much has been done to streamline the system.