CHENNAI: “Varum... aana varathu,” the line that has become the standard response for anything uncertain seems to sum up the mood in the city when you ask anyone them about the supply of LPG cylinders. Over the last two months, households have been facing delays in supply ranging from 40 to 50 days, forcing some of them to borrow spare cylinders from neighbours and relatives.
Residents of several localities, who spoke to City Express on Tuesday, say the ordeal of waiting for LPG cylinders has become almost too much to bear. The customer services of various LPG suppliers promise delivery within eight to 10 days of booking but those deadlines have been breached by quite a margin in the last two months.
Lakshmi, a housewife living on Singarachari Street in Triplicane, says she booked the cylinder with her Indane dealer in mid April. However, the cylinder is yet to arrive.
“I call them every day and shout over the phone. But nothing happens. The spare cylinder I had finished five days ago and I had to borrow a spare one from my mother’s house in Velachery,” says Lakshmi, who claims she had to pay auto fare of `150 to bring the cylinder.
Others, like Vaani on Santhome High Road, say that they are forced to manage with induction stoves owing to the delay. “We had a religious event at home and with that and during the Tamil New Year there was extra usage of gas last month. Now I am forced to cook on a single induction stove that is subject to the vagaries of power supply,” says Vaani, an SBI employee.
An IOC spokesperson says the supply lag is the result of tanker strikes that hit supplies between January 15 and April 15. During this period, he says the backlog of bookings touched 5 lakh in the city as the influx of cylinders was around 40000 units per day, much lower than the normal demand of 55000 cylinders. This gap is now being reduced at the rate of 10,000 additional clearances per day as the supply has been notched up to 65,000 cylinders after April 15. “The average waiting period is around 20 days but we are trying our best to reduce that. By the end of this month, we should be down to around a 10-day waiting period,” says the spokesperson.