Shortage of LPG fuels black market in Kohima: A response

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According to the allegation of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO), the shortage of LPG at Kohima has led to the proliferation of the black market. Meanwhile the Association of Kohima Municipal Wards Panchayat (AKMWP) represented by its President Mr Neibulie Kiewho who accused Seyie Gas for issuing LPG only once a week, which was making the customers queue up from 1 am yet unable to get a single cylinder, which encouraged black marketers to shoot up the LPG price to a whooping of Rs 2,000/- per cylinder.
1. There is definitely shortage of LPG due to Kohima road block mostly in July and August 2018 for natural calamities in addition to North Eastern States LPG Bandh and government holidays. Therefore, there is tremendous LPG backloads, which is the reason for a very high demand of LPG at Kohima and to meet the abnormally high demand is taking time at present. The LPG customers are requested to be patient for few more weeks so as to normalise the situation.
2. As regard to the alleged black-marketing, we, the LPG Distributors of Kohima have repeatedly informed the customers, NVCO, and denizens of Kohima, through our press releases and any other means of communications that whosoever, notices any LPG cylinders in black market as stated, should be immediately ceased with the help of district administration and trace out the supply source of such grey cylinders but to our surprise and dismay they would never try to catch those alleged black marketers whom they claimed to have known except blaming the LPG distributors of Kohima again and again. This is not helping anyone.
3. It is easy to catch black marketers if they exist and one is prepared to take some simple and practical legal actions because not even a single LPG cylinder is manufactured at Kohima. The ceasing of grey cylinders and tracing of its supply source is only the solution. In the tracing process, if the cylinders are found to be issued against proper booking as per IOCL norms and were issued against genuine cards, the distributor(s) is not at fault but the customers who lend their LPG cards to the middleman for the purpose of black marketing, then those customers and the middleman are the culprits. In such cases the district administration can comfortably arrest the black marketers along with the guilty customers. Or if, the grey cylinders were traced out to be from some other LPG distributors outside of Kohima capital city, proper legal action can be taken against such black marketers. It is in the interest of everyone, we the LPG Distributors of Kohima shall support such move whole heartedly. Or if, the cylinders are traced and found to be pilfered then we must catch those notorious culprits immediately instead of accusing each other within our own comfort zones without doing anything. We need to take action together to solve the problem and not play the blame game for every problem we face on the daily.
4. As far as Seyie Gas Service is concerned, we have never delivered any LPG cylinder to anyone without checking the right weight and gas quality since the inception, as our duty is to deliver the full quantity, IOCL specified quality, deliver the same in time and in the right control price to our valued customers at all cost and always. We are issuing LPG cylinders once in a week at P.R. Hills and once in a month at the D. Block, the rest of the LPG cylinders are regularly taken for colony deliveries for the welfare of the customers to avoid high cost of transportation charges and traffic problems and this is going on smoothly. But, presently the queue is long at P.R. Hill as claimed because sufficient colony deliveries could not be carried out in time due to the aforesaid huge backloads for the said natural calamities. However, whosoever were in the queue are either given filled cylinders or a token card for the delivery in the same week and no one had ever been sent back empty handed as wildly claimed.
5. The LPG is precious use it wisely, often our LPG vehicles had to be pushed and pulled by JCBs at a high cost and risk of damages on LPG vehicles or the LPG loads had to be lifted by mini trucks from midway to Kohima, which were done in late night only without proper sleep for Traffic regulations, as if we were in a war path, just so, that we can serve our customers no matter the road condition or the weather. But added to these miseries all the Kohima LPG Distributors faced heavy financial losses without exceptions because we are compelled to lift our own LPG loads to Kohima from Dimapur Bottling Plant and back to the Plant, at the “Dimapur local LPG transportation rate” which is just Rs7, 900/- for both ways, which does not cover the cost on fuel, load and unload charges and gate taxes, instead of the present minimum market rate of Rs 25, 000/- for a COWL, PS 4, 16/15, TC, Tata Truck. Even so, after incurring all the huge financial losses, we are still trying our best to serve our customers to the best of our capacity.
6. We have not lost anything to these allegations which we, the LPG Distributors of Kohima think is unfair and miscalculated, but have gained a priceless audience to also bring to light the awareness of the real LPG situation at the capital city Kohima and move one step closer towards its solution.
Kuolachalie Seyie
Proprietor, Seyie Gas Service , President
All Kohima Indane Distributors Association.

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