AGARTALA, Dec 30: The Indian Oil Corporation has decided to set up a new bottling plant at Bodhjung gar Industrial Estate, 10 km from Agartala, to solve the LPG cylinder crisis in Tripura. The officials of the IOC met the Minister for food and civil supplies Bhanu Lal Saha and conveyed the decision.
This is part of the initiative taken by the centre to ensure enough stock of all essential commodities in all the north-eastern States. As per this scheme the Food Corporation of India has decided to increase their storage capacity by constructing a new godown at Shekerkot area in the southern outskirt of Agartala. The FCI officials too met the minister and discussed the matter.
LPG shortage is a perennial problem in the State as the IOC could supply only eight thousand cylinders every day against the demand for 1200 cylinder.
At present the IOC have a bottling plant at Bishalghar and also getting supply from Silchar but these are not enough to meet the demand causing long backlogs.
IOC officials said the new plant will have the capacity of bottling 18,000 cylinders a day and the crisis will be solved once the new plant start production. The oil company is also taking an initiative to ensure regular LPG bulk supply from Haldia port using the water ways through Chittagong or Ashugunj port of Bangladesh. At present the bulk supply often become irregular, specially during the rainy season causing serious problem for the State.
Transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a major issue for the mountainous northeastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Chi.
There is only a rrow land corridor to the northeastern region through Assam and West Bengal but this route passes through hilly terrain with steep gradients and multiple hairpin bends, making plying of vehicles, especially loaded trucks, very difficult.
Agartala via Guwahati is 1,650 km from Kolkata by road and 2,637 km from New Delhi, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 620 km.
Earlier in 2012, Bangladesh had allowed state-owned Oil and tural Gas Corporation to ferry heavy machinery, turbines and over-dimensiol cargoes through Ashuganj port for the 726-MW Palata mega power project in southern Tripura.