BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 6: Irate customers facing undue harassment in procuring LPG cylinders, locked down an IOC distributor located at Hengerabari area of the city on Wednesday.
The mob locked the gates of Hangsa Gas Agency, alleging undue delay and harassment in booking and delivery of LPG cylinders.
There have been repeated complaints against the distributor, with sources alleging a flourishing black market of LPG cylinders under its patroge. The IOC or for that matter the district administration, has lent a deaf ear to the complaints of customers.
“I had booked a cylinder on April 1. I had to visit the distributor four to five times to get the cylinder. The delivery guy brought me one after I lodged a written complaint. But then, the delivery man charged Rs 720 for the cylinder. When I questioned why he was overcharging as the price was Rs 680, he said they were not paid any incentive for delivering cylinders at home. He also said many of his colleagues were underpaid. This is the situation at the gas agency,” said S Goswami, a customer of Hangsa Gas Agency.
Another customer complained that she is yet to get a cylinder though she had booked one in March last.
“We have to beg to get a cylinder. It is an essential item. Though they cut delivery charges, very often we have to take the empty cylinder to the distributor to get a refilled one,” said another customer.
The distributors are mandated to deliver the cylinder within 21 days of booking.
Gas distributors, under pressure from oil companies like IOC, HP and BP, to speed up DBTL enumerations, are tweaking rules to create artificial scarcity and harassing customers.
Locals said the delivery persons of the distributor are in cahoots with black-marketers in the area. “You can easily get a cylinder for Rs 1000/1200 in the black market. There is no regulator to check it. This has been going on for months,” said a local.
Meanwhile, a team from the district administration led by a magistrate raided the distributor today and seized several documents that pointed to irregularities, an official release said.