Demanding cancellation of marketing discipline guidelines (MDG) 2014 and other demands, 134 LPG distributors from across Uttarakhand would participate in the nationwide strike beginning Tuesday.
Some LPG agencies remained closed on Monday as well due to week off and therefore, consumers had to face a lot of difficulties. It is believed the strike will have its impact across the hill state, especially in the disaster-hit districts. On an average, 44,000 refills are sent across the state on daily basis.
Addressing a conference in Dehradun on Monday afternoon, the state president of Federation of LPG Distributors of India Chaman Lal said, “Our 8 point demands include cancellation of MDG 2014 that has made LPG distributors accountable for loopholes in the entire supply system. We alone are not to be blamed for everything. Besides, we are demanding uniform price of every cylinder.”
According to distributors, the supply of LPG cylinders reaches them through a chain of stakeholders. They feel that even if a single stakeholder delays supply, the consumers suffer. But, they also highlighted how LPG distributor is blamed for all irregularities. As a matter of fact MDG 2014 was introduced to curb monotony of distributors so that regular supply of LPG could be provided to consumers. However, distributors feel oppressed with the decision as it empowers consumer to complain against the distributor of those who deliver the cylinders at their doorsteps.
In addition, distributors also criticised multiple pricing of LPG refills. They shared how multiple pricing will lead to diversion. For example, the subsidised cylinder is available at `400-450, non-subsidised cylinder is available at `1,240-1,275 and commercial cylinder is available at `1,850-1,900. Thus, this disparity in prices leads to conflict generally between the distributor and the consumer.
The distributors have been urging the oil marketing companies to provide pilfer-proof seals on cylinders so that consumers get the right quantity of gas. In the absence of such pilfer-proof seals, unscrupulous elements pilfer gas and transfer it from one cylinder to another, which is hazardous to life and property.
In addition, they asked to ensure stoppage of sale of 2/3/5 kg spurious cylinders in the market. Deepak Barthwal, Satya Sheel Gas Agency, Niranjanpur in this regard said, “Small cylinders are like bomb that can explode anywhere. Pilferage of these cylinders is reported. Sadly, neither the state government nor the central government has taken cognizance of this matter.”