Wanted : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas, Tweaking home delivery
Five years back, The Sangai Express launched a campaign against the discrepancies in the distribution of filled LPG cylinders to the consumers, wherein some had received even 20 refills against the then mandated 12 refills in a year while some could not even receive 2 or 3 refills in a year. That campaign was launched under the slogan “Wanted : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas,” and it is with a sense of satisfaction to note that refilled LPG distribution or supply in the State improved drastically after the said campaign which ran for months was launched. That there was a pattern behind the shortage of cooking gas being supplied to the consumers and its availability in abundance in the black market was clearly spelt out to the readers. It was also clear that bandhs and blockades which were ‘normal’ stuff back then, provided the much needed flexibility to some ‘enterprising’ few to play around with the supply and availability of the same and laugh all their way to the bank. The Wanted : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas campaign did go a long way in unravelling the pattern behind the LPG Game that was played then, and while situation has certainly improved a lot since then, there is still the niggling doubt that some elements could be capitalising on any loopholes that may exist. If not anything else then the report that LPG price has been hiked by at least Rs 100 per cylinder after the open sale of LPG to customers was kicked off about two weeks back should underline this.
Delivery charge. This is the rider supposedly cited by some distributors for charging an extra Rs 100 per filled cylinder, but the catch is, the said refilled cylinders are being sold just a few metres away from the office of the distributor. Shift the place of sale from the main office and voila, this can be turned into delivery charge. Another example of blatantly robbing the people and a strong voice of protest should be raised against such arbitrary hike of price of an essential item. One hopes that the said news item, which The Sangai Express carried in the July 10th issue under the caption, ‘LPG price hiked by as much as Rs 100 per cylinder slur raised’ has caught the attention of the authority concerned. The IOC should act on it, pull up the erring agency or agencies and make them toe the line. The State Government too should act on the said report. As things stand, people are already reeling under the impact of the lockdown and the severe restrictions placed on the daily activities of the people and allowing some slimy characters to get away with such blatant misuse of the bare necessities of the people should not be tolerated. From creating acute shortage of cooking gas to making them available freely in the black market to now tweaking the understanding of home delivery, the daylight robbery should stop.