From our Correspondent
SILCHAR, July 11: Scarcity of LPG cylinders has become an endemic problem for the common people of Barak valley. Everyday hundreds of people stand in long queues for gas cylinder but after a day-long wait, most of them return home disappointed. This is a common scenario before the office of the every gas agency here and this has been continuing for the last few months.
The IOC officials claimed that the scarcity would be resolved by June. But, the woes of the people are continuing.
Angshuman Dey, 32, said that the situation has become so critical that it takes more than 45 days in the processing of booking and gas cylinder delivery. He added to say that the IOC failed to keep their promise.
Shanti Bhattacharjee, a middle-aged homemaker said that they had a joint family of 12 members. “The scarcity of LPG in the market has made our lives miserable”, she added. It was her opinion that this crisis of cylinders has multiplied their daily expenses.
Biplab Kumar Goswami, general secretary, Grahak Suraksha Samiti of Cachar district said to The Sentinel that people were not aware of their rights and duties. He further alleged that to get a new connection of LPG, the gas agency demands anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 6000 instead of government prescribed fee of Rs 1820. He also pointed out that by taking the advantage of the scarcity, the black marketers are cashing on it.
The customers of Rupali Gas Agency of Udharbond also alleged that they have been suffering from the last one year. In this regard, a general meeting under the presidentship of Ranjit Roy was held at a public meeting hall of Udharbond recently. Every speaker spoke in an identical manner and described his owes.
The condition here is so grave that most of the people opined that they have not received any LPG cylinder for the last 3-4 months.
Sankhu Acharjee, 22, pointed out that the delivery man has the responsibility to provide the bonafide consumers with LPG cylinders within the time schedule of booking by them. But, it has been found in most of the cases that the delivery man take recourse to malpractices by diverting the cylinders of consumers to black market for unlawful gains, he said, adding, “After lodging complaints by the citizens of this area, no action is initiated for corrective measures”.
It can be recalled that the people of Udharbond area sat in a meeting with the IOC officials on June 20, where they were assured by the Corporation that the scarcity would be met within a few days. But, the problem remains constant, as the people of the area alleged that the Rupali Gas Agency did not take the issue seriously. In order to fight against the malpractices, a new body tiled as ‘Udharbond Gas Consumers’ Action Committee of 21 members was formed, to which Sajal Deb and Partha Paul were elected as the president and the secretary respectively.
The committee later submitted a memorandum addressed to the Circle Officer of Udharbond, demanding immediate solution of the LPG crisis. The people also gave an ultimatum that if the problem is not solved soon they would launch a agitation in support of their legitimate demand.
Other were present in the body included Kutubuddin Barbhuiya, Dhoneshwar Singh, Kishore Bhattacharjee, Arun Singha, Kalyan Das, Dilip Deb Mazumder.