LPG: After waiting for more than nine hours, more than 50 residents of Sipsu, Chengmari, Tendu, and Dorokha in Samtse returned home with empty cylinders yesterday.

Since morning, some 300 residents from across Samtse had gathered at the Bhutan Oil Distributor (BOD) depot to collect the refilled cylinders.

“I came here at 7am and I haven’t been able to get my cylinder filled for more than a week now,” Dilip Sharma from Sipsu said.

A businessman in Samtse town, Sonam, said he failed to acquire his quota for June.  Another resident, Kinga was also irked for not being able to refill for the last three months.

For the last three months, Sonam said he has been depending on electricity and help from friends.  Another annoyed Samtse resident, Ugyen, said, “The depot officials did not explain to us clearly; if we don’t get the cylinders, we may have to use firewood.”

The depot official said that by 4pm yesterday, a truckload of LPG cylinders had just reached the depot. Sources later confirmed that 350 refilled cylinders had arrived.

Samtse’s BOD has a quota for 1,200 LPG cylinders in a month while Damchen has a quota for 200. Druk petroleum also has a quota for 200 cylinders, which is located in Gomtu.

Since the depots are located in Samtse town, residents from other places have to travel to town to refill their cylinders. Samtse is one of the most populated dzongkhags and residents complain that the quota is minimal.

By Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing