Delivering LPG at Rs 100 per cylinder How about the distance ?
This takes back The Sangai Express to the days when it launched an intensive campaign against the acute shortage of cooking gas under the caption WANTED : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas. Comical it is in a way for cooking gas has always made it to the news of this newspaper for all the wrong reasons and if it was about the acute/artificial shortage of LPG some years back, today it has come back in a different avatar qualified by a huge question mark at the end. The lead news that ran on April 25 edition of this newspaper was ‘Posers raised on LPG delivery charge.’ After the laughing gas punch, the stock of cooking gas available at the distributors gradually became healthy but today it is not so much about the availability of stocks with the distributor but more about how consumers feel short changed over the delivery rate charged by the distributors. A uniform delivery rate it has become and what is not at all amusing to the consumers is the fact that no matter where the consumer stays, maybe even only 500 metres away from the godown of the distributor, the delivery charge is a flat Rs 100. It is the same if the consumer resides say, 5 or 6 kms away and the natural question is, why can’t the distributors be tasked with the job of working out the distance where the consumers stay and accordingly work out a slab. Or is Rs 100 a sum not fit to be taken into consideration ? After the Covid pandemic hit the world and Manipur alike, the Government thought it better to discourage consumers from crowding at a particular spot and hence came up with the idea of making home delivery of LPG or cooking gas compulsory for every distributor. This was a good move, but in the process not much work was put into drawing up a slab for the delivery charge. It absolutely makes no sense to levy Rs 100 delivery charge if the consumer stays at say Khongnang Ani Karak and the godown of the distributor is located at Shangakpham ! This is about getting down to work and coming out with a fee that makes sense. Just how many consumers on the average does each LPG agency has ? It cannot surely be in lakhs that it becomes burdensome to work out the distance of each and every consumer. The only thing needed is to sit down, work out the distance of the consumers and then work out the fare rate which makes sense.
A uniform rate of Rs 100 per consumer is noting but a reflection of the fact that the distributors are not ready to sit down and work. The Government and the IOC should get down to it and dispense any feeling that the some consumers are being short changed. Why is it that nothing seems to work out well in this land ? Is it a case of taking the consumers for granted ? Such a mindset it not acceptable. The disgruntled voices that have been raised have their merits. The Government should look into it. Why should people be burdened with unreasonable ‘fares’ ? It is not only giving free registration for LPG to some needy and deserving people that is needed, but also to streamline delivery of the cooking gas to the consumers. Work out a rate that is acceptable and sounds logical. A lump sum approach is not what the situation demands. To the moneyed and salaried folks a sum of Rs 100 extra for delivery charge may not amount to much but to make the term, subsidised cooking gas more meaningful the Government would need to look into why some consumers feel short changed. Not at all reasonable to pinch the pocket of the people for the LPG that may come from just a distance of a kilometre or two.