A task force comprising district police chief will supervise the distribution of cooking gas in each district in the Valley. The government has taken this step following the recent High Court order, wherein the government was asked to take steps to streamline the distribution of cooking gas. Every police station will look after the domestic gas distribution affairs at the local level.
The other members of the task force would be district development commissioner, representatives of oil companies and deputy director CAPD.
"The role of the police is to check black-marketing and register cases against people who are found in the wrong," said Asghar Samoon, divisional commissioner, Kashmir.
The steps have been taken owing to a crisis-like situation in the wake of Centre's decision to put cap on number of subsidised LPG cylinders per year. As winters are approaching, people in the Valley are queuing up to get their documents verified to avail subsidised cooking gas at subsidised rates.
In winters the LPG and power consumption increases sharply as people either use LPG or power heaters for warming their living rooms. The usual and frequent closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway during snowfall further affects the LPG supply.
The government has also decided to provide cooking gas at consumer affairs and public distribution (CAPD) department outlets (ration
depots) across the Valley during winters. Government has over 2,100 such outlets across the Valley. The government has also asked the oil companies to start distributing cooking gas from their petrol pumps across Kashmir. There are 104 petrol pumps in the Valley.
"The root cause behind LPG shortage is insufficient number of dealers. Against the need of over 1,400 gas distribution outlets across the Valley, only 33 exist, which cater to nearly 70 lakh population," Samoon said.
According to central government orders, there should be an LPG dealer for every 5,000 to 7,000 customers.
"We also have a gap in demand and supply. As against the demand of 18,000 cylinders a day, we get only 12,000 cylinders,'' he added.