The regional trade office and Bhutan Oil Corporation (BOC) in Samdrupjongkhar distributed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders to rural households of Shumar, Khar and Chongshing gewogs in Pemagatshel last month.

Regional trade director, Aiman Mahat, said as per the report submitted by the dzongkhag administration last month, there are 2,361 households without LPG in the dzongkhag, adding that the regional office has decided to supply cylinders to the three gewogs coinciding with the inauguration of the fuel depot in Denchi on July 30.

He said of the 11 gewogs in the dzongkhag, they decided to distribute 230 LPG cylinders to the rural households. “Since we are the facilitator, we will request Tashi Commercial to increase the number of LPG cylinders and distribute them to the remaining households within a year.”

There are more than 2,000 households left without LPG connection in the dzongkhag.

Aiman Mahat said that a cylinder would last three to four months as most people use it more to prepare tea. “Since the total weight for a LPG cylinder is 29.5kgs, people should check the cylinder’s weight,” he said.

Under this scheme, villagers have to pay Nu 1,980 for a new cylinder and Nu 2,471 for non-subsidised LPG cylinder. They will have to pay Nu 528 each to refill the subsidised cylinders and Nu 821 each for the non-subsidised cylinders. The LPG cylinders will be changed at the BOC depot in Denchi.

Trade officials said that initially, people had to visit the regional trade office in Samdrupjongkhar for the cylinders but they are now happy because they will not have to visit a regional office, saving them time, money and energy under this scheme.

BOC officials said there is a need of at least two LPG cylinders for each household because they will face difficulties in refilling as some villages are far from the collection point, adding that although the trade office has decided to distribute 230 cylinders but they have distributed 350 cylinders because more than 300 households have applied for the LPG.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Pemagatshel