Enraged consumers throng LPG agency

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 21st Apr: Several people are questioning whether authorised LPG dealers in the state are selling off LPG refills in the black market by taking advantage of the lockdown/curfew imposed by the central and state governments as precautionary measures against COVID-19.
Despite the lockdown/curfew, IOC has been working hard to provide fuel and LPG cooking gas to the people. Consumers could make booking for gas refill right from the comfort of their homes through the Interactive Voice Response Service (IVRS) by calling on the phone no. 9089024365 or by sending a text ‘REFILL’ from the phone number registered on their gas card to the WhatsApp number 7588888824. In addition, consumers could download the ‘IndianOil One’ App from Google play store or Apple App Store for online booking, as had been informed by IOC.
Frustrated over not being able to reach the staff of Imphal LPG Gas Services counter at Wahengbam Leikai through the number provided in front of the counter along with call diversion, prolonged delay in providing the refills and refusal to permit bookings done two months ago, customers thronged the counter on Tuesday at around 9 am.
Speaking to The People’s Chronicle, some consumers said that the Imphal LPG Gas Services abruptly stopped supplying LPG refills after March 23. As such, many consumers frequently came to the counter for booking and enquired about the delivery dates. Some of them also tried to call the phone number provided in the notice board of the counter but no one ever picked up the call. No efforts for home delivery during the lockdown/curfew period were taken up. On top of this, they were informed that the previous booking will be void and only new bookings done during the month of April would be permitted. In this regard, Imphal LPG Gas Services proprietor W Premananda said that the LPG refills are being distributed as per the guidelines laid down by the IOC. Presently, LPG refills are being distributed via home delivery system. Consumers could also book for the same online and a telephone number has been provided on the notice board for any issues.
However, the consumers argued that no one picks up the telephone number. There is no response even when a miss call is given. Imphal LPG Gas Services has failed to inform the consumers through print and electronic media as well.
Reacting to the complaints of the agitated consumers, Premananda clarified that calls were diverted owing to huge number of calls from consumers. There are documents that will prove whether the Gas agency has been supplying the gases or not. The consumers are free to file complaints to IOC in this regard, he added.
Not satisfied with the proprietor’s reply, the consumers have urged the authorities concerned to look into the matter, while hinting at the possibility of similar problems faced by consumers of other gas agencies.
They further urged IOC to take strict actions against the defaulting gas agencies, while raising suspicions that the gas agencies may be secretly selling off the refills in the black market.


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