Fuel depot in Thimphu, according to individual service seekers, gives preference to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) service provider. That has left many frustrated.

A service seeker (who did not wish to be named) said that service providers come with loads of cylinders and cut the waiting line.

“Some people come as early as 7am and wait for the service. Waiting in queue is not a problem, but it is annoying when someone shows up with about a dozen cylinders and are given preference,” she said.

She said that it was service that must be delivered fairly to the customers. “Otherwise, the depot needs to have separate mechanism for the agents.”

Officiating regional director of regional trade and industry office (RTIO), Dhurba Giri, said that the office did not receive any written complaint from the people about the preference given to the LPG service providers. “There are clear instructions given to all the three oil depots in Thimphu about the priority that needs to be given to the general public when it comes to refilling or for new connections.”

He said that LPG service could refill a maximum of 15 LPG cylinders a day providing they produce 15 refilling cards. “Service providers are to be given refill only when the queue is gone.”

Officials said that there was no shortage of LPG in the country. However, people had more than two cooking gases at home, which was caused problems.

Trade officials said that if there were grievances related to LPG facility in any of the three-fuel depots in Thimphu, people should submit a written complaint with evidence to the offices concerned.

There are more than fifteen LPG service providers in Thimphu today. One of the service providers said that they always waited in queue to get LPG refill. “We have more orders in a day, but because there is only one truck in the Motithang BOD most days, we get a minimum of 10 gas cylinders.”

He said that sometimes, even when there were orders, LPG was short in supply.

Everyday, a minimum of 252 LPG refill is provided. When there are two trucks, more than 500 LPG refill are provided to the people in the Motithang Bhutan Oil Distributors, which provides the maximum number of LPG refill to the people.

About 426 subsidised cooking gas cylinders was returned to the three oil depots in Thimphu since the introduction of non-subsidised LPG in February 9 this year.

Rinchen Zangmo