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Customers queue up from midnight for LPG refills

By Correspondent

PATACHARKUCHI, July 25 - LPG consumers at Patacharkuchi are facing massive problems in getting cylinder refills. It has become a very tough job for the consumers to collect the refills from the extended distribution point of Prazalak, a distributor of Indane.

It may sound unbelievable that the people of Patacharkuchi and the surrounding areas come to the distribution centre at the Harendra Bhawan here and queue up from midnight and early morning so that they are sure to get the cylinder.

It may be mentioned that earlier the consumers of the greater area collected the refills from Prazallak, Pathsala. But Prazallak later stopped delivering cylinders from its office and started home delivery in the local area and through some extended points of distribution like Nityananda, Helona, Patacharkuchi etc. In Patacharkuchi at the initiative of the Patacharkuchi Development Committee, an arrangement had been made to deliver cylinders at Harendra Bhawan, Patacharkuchi. Cylinders are distributed twice a week, i.e., on Tuesdays and Fridays. Customers then found that if they join the queue in the morning hours, then more often than not, they have to return empty-handed. With the passage of time, the situation has only worsened.

It may be mentioned that the Patacharkuchi Development Committee even took help from the CRPF to control the consumers in the queue. Customers alleged that compared to the demand, less number of refills are sent to the point for distribution, for which they have to suffer a lot. The Patacharakuchi Development Committee has also asked the distributor to take steps to ease the situation, but to no avail. The committee also proposed that cylinders to customers of a particular area be supplied at one time, but the distributor has failed to take that step also. The customers say that now as they have to first book a cylinder, hence the authority knows in advance about the actual demand of cylinders and so they should send more cylinders to the point to make the process easy.

Though the higher authorities are trying to make the process of supplying cylinders easier by taking various steps, the customers here have to struggle for it. People have demanded that the supply of cylinders should be increased or arrangements made for them to be supplied for more than two days in a week or to restrict the number of customers of a certain area to collect cylinders from that point. It may be mentioned here that the local police station has also asked the development committee not to let people gather in the area since night. But despite the development committee asking the people to desist from assembling at night, the customers have refused to pay heed.

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