Chandigarh: Even before the onset of harsh winter in northern region, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are facing severe shortage of LPG, forcing consumers to wait for 15-20 days for getting delivery of cooking gas.
Expressing helplessness in mitigating consumers’ grievances, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) distributors have blamed oil marketing companies (OMCs) for the insufficient supply of gas, causing inconveniences to LPG users.
"We are not getting enough LPG from (oil marketing) companies that has resulted into backlog of 10-12 days," All India LPG Distributors Federation President KJS Buttar said. According to Buttar, there are 840 LPG distributors in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Sensing the shortage of LPG, consumers have resorted to panic buying of the cooking gas, which has further compounded the backlog problem due to shortage of supply.
However, OMCs are hoping for normalisation of the situation within a week.
LPG consumers complained they were made to wait for at least 15-20 days by the LPG distributors for delivery. In majority of cases, distributors were even refusing to book new LPG orders in the wake of the shortage.
Indian Oil, which has the majority share in LPG gas connections in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, had shut down its Panipat refinery for maintenance, which resulted into LPG shortage.
"The Panipat refinery was shut down for maintenance...but now the refinery is back on stream and within a week, the situation will normalise," a senior official of Indian Oil said here.
Indian Oil, which supplied 1,450 tonne LPG per day from Panipat refinery, caters to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Though a senior official of HPCL admitted that there was a bulk shortage of LPG, yet he said the backlog never exceeded five days. "We are booking new orders after finding the genuine demand of customers," he asserted.
However, official of BPCL said there was no shortage of LPG in their supplies.
Punjab and Chandigarh have 54 lakh and 3.52 lakh LPG connections, respectively.