People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 46

November 18, 2012




LPG Crisis may Create Law & Order Problem


HOLDING the lack of coordination between the central government and the oil companies as responsible for the prevailing LPG crisis in Jammu and Kashmir, CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said on November 3 that the present cooking gas crisis could turn into a major law and order problem in the state. He also blamed the state government for ineptitude to address the sufferings of consumers who are subjected to wait in queues for hours together in order to procure an LPG cylinder.


In a statement issued from Srinagar on the day, he said till the central government and oil companies decide about raising subsidy cap on LPG cylinders used for domestic purposes, the state government must ensure the availability of the required number of gas cylinders for consumers.


Tarigami expressed concern over the huge deficiency of gas cylinders, required especially to deal with the winter in Kashmir. Referring to media reports about the nexus between gas dealers and agents operating in markets in the state, the CPI(M) leader said the government must curb such tendencies which have a cascading impact on the consumers.


He also questioned the procedural wrangling involved in registration and documentation process for availing a gas connection. He said till the registration and proper documentation of the already existing gas connections is done, the government must ensure availability of non-subsidised gas cylinders in the market in order to prevent any eventuality. 


Tarigami said it was shocking that there are only around 40 LPG distributors in Kashmir. “The dearth of distributors has compounded the LPG crisis situation in Kashmir. This will further add to the woes of consumers and the same can snowball into a major law and order situation, if the central and state governments and the oil companies do not come forward to address the problem,” Tarigami observed.


Tarigami also criticised the statement of union oil minister that the “central government has given a lot of liberty to oil companies and the oil ministry do not want to take a decision.” He said it was disheartening that oil companies have taken consumers for a ride due to the central government’s ineptitude and wrong policy making. “While these oil companies operating in the state have over the years increased their retail outlets for petrol and diesel manifold, why have they miserably failed to expand the crucial LPG dealership network in Jammu and Kashmir for better distribution of cooking gas? This speaks volumes about the interests of the corporate sector that is just engrossed in filling up their own coffers at the cost of sufferings of common masses,” Tarigami remarked.


The CPI(M) leader further said the central government must come out with a special provision for the state of Jammu and Kashmir which is currently struggling with a massive LPG shortage and has seen many protests throughout the state over the past couple of months. “I appeal to the central and state governments, besides oil companies, to wake up from deep slumber and address the cooking gas crisis facing Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest. Otherwise, there is every likelihood that the same crisis can turn into a major law and order problem that will be very difficult to control,” he added.