Artificial shortage of LPG hits consumers

Consumers forced to buy new cylinders

Gaighat, March 16

Consumers are facing LPG gas crunch after local businessmen created an artificial shortage of cooking gas in the wake of the coronavirus fear at Gaighat, Udayapur.

Consumers complained that they could not get cooking gas even though they had reached the dealers a week ago. They added that businessmen easily provided LPG gas if customers sought to buy new cylinders.

Local businessmen are demanding Rs 3,800 for a new cylinder. Consumers can easily get new cylinders if they pay the amount. But consumers have to return with empty-handed when they reach dealers with empty cylinders.

Consumers complained that seven dealers are involved in black-marketing gas cylinders in Gaighat.

Yubraj Basnet, a local consumer, said no dealer were ready to offer him a cylinder.

“But all the dealers are ready to offer me a cylinder if I buy a new cylinder,” he informed. Basnet said that he bought a new cylinder at Rs 3,800.

Another consumer Narayan Budhathoki said businessmen had hoarded LPG gas outside the bazaar areas to black-market them. “Businessmen supply cooking gas from another place after consumers pay the amount at the shop,” he added.

Chairman of Triyuga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gajendra Bhagat said the scarcity had been created in the bazaar after customers started storing up cooking gas thinking that its supply from India might stop due to coronavirus.

“I don’t know about black-marketing and nobody should engage in black-marketing,” he added. He said action should be taken against black-marketers.

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer Dhruba Bahadur Khadka said the process for taking action against black-marketers would be forwarded after investigation. He informed that market monitoring was being carried out to prevent shortage of LPG cylinders.

Udayapur District Administration Office has issued a statement warning that severe action would be taken against those who created artificial shortage of cooking gas and daily essentials in the district.