The LPG has become a scarce commodity for people of Baghapurana sub-division in Moga district as they have been running from pillar to post for the past four months to get the refills.
There are more than 25,000 LPG connections of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (Indane) in the area and most have not got LPG refills for past four months. They had made advance booking for LPG cylinder at Bagha Gas Agency, Baghapurana, four months ago.
"We have been holding protests by blocking Mudki-Baghapurana-Nihal Singh Wala state highway for a fortnight but neither gas agency nor the food supply department had initiated any action in the matter," said Gurpiar Singh Brar, a social worker of Rode village, near Bhaghapurana, who joined the protest from Day One.
"If someone has political or administrative approach, he can get the refill easily but it is difficult for a common man," he added.
For three days the HT team saw consumers queuing up in the wee hours (about 4am) in front of the gas agency as well as outside the godown at Channuwala road in Baghapurana so that they can get refills.
"More than 500 consumers turned up at the godown but only 100 lucky ones get refills in a day. An equal number of consumers were seen queuing up outside the gas agency and only a few get the slip for the refilled cylinder," said Chand Singh, a resident of Tharaj village of the subdivision, who was standing in the queue at 7am.
Not only the customers of rural area face the problem but those from Baghapurana town are also equally upset.
"There was a home delivery supply of the LPG cylinders in the town earlier but it was stopped four months ago. Now every consumer has to get refill by standing in the queue. Residents of the town are much more disturbed and the gas agency is responsible for this situation," said former president of Baghapurana municipal council, Ashok Mittal.
The owner of Bagha Gas Agency, Sunit Kumar, said, "The expired cylinders are being sorted out by Indian Oil Corporation. As the process of replacing the expired cylinders with new ones is in progress, the supply of LPG cylinders has affected."
Moga deputy commissioner Arashdeep Singh Thind, when contacted, said, "I have deputed the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) and district food supply controller (DFSC) to inquire the entire matter and the officials will discuss the issue with the sales officer concerned. Whoever is found guilty will not be spared."
He said there was no shortage of LPG cylinders in the district and the supply was normal at Moga, Badhni Kalan, Dharamkot and other main towns.