LPG shortage irks Paro residents

PM said the government is working on increasing the LPG supply for the country 

Visit: Despite introducing a consumer card system, shortage of domestic liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders still remains a pertinent issue in Paro.

Residents said the card system implemented early this year further aggravated the issue and many complained that after standing for hours, they had to return home with their empty cylinders.

The dzongkhag receives a quota of 2,772 cylinders a month.

With the issue widespread across the dzongkhag, villagers in some gewogs raised the issue during Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay’s two-day visit to six gewogs. Lyonchoen met the people of six gewogs on November 28 and 29.

Residents said they are unable to get LPG cylinders although they are entitled two cylinders a month.

Lyonchoen said the issue is not specific to the gewogs or the thromdes alone. The issue, lyonchoen said is widespread across the country.

“People still keep more than one LPG cylinder which leads to the shortage,” lyonchoen said.

Lyonchoen posted on social media that while it is good news that people use LPG across the country including rural communities, it means that LPG is not as readily and easily available as before. “The government is working towards increasing the supply of this essential commodity,” he posted.

In every gewog meeting, lyonchoen asked villagers to raise their hands if they used LPG for cooking purposes. When asked if they own more than one LPG cylinder, most villagers raised their hands but reluctantly.

Paro residents attribute the shortage to hotels and restaurants using the domestic LPG cylinders. Some even attributed it to misuse of consumer cards. They said many families have excess consumer cards that are passed on to others for various reasons.

The trade department initiated the consumer card system early this year to prevent LPG cylinders, which the Indian government supplies at a subsidized rate in quotas, from being used for commercial purposes.

In early October, the trade department also announced that hotels, restaurants, and canteens across the country surrender their subsidized LPG cylinders that they use for commercial purposes.

Kinga Dema, Paro

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