AIZAWL: Even as many families in Mizoram have run out of cooking gas, there is enough stock of the essential commodity at Mualkhang gas bottling plant, about an hour’s drive from the State capital Aizawl, opposition Mizo National Front said today.
MLAs and Aizawl Municipal Corporation councillors of MNF today went to Mualkhang gas bottling plant to take stock of the situation as the gas crisis in the State worsens by the day, following the truckers’ refusal to transport LPG.
The plant manager told the opposition members that there is enough stock of gas in the bottling plant. “There is smooth supply from IOC. The only problem is no truck is available to transport the LPG to the distributors,” he was quoted as saying in a MNF statement.
MNF legislator Lalruatkima said, “The gas crisis has started in July, but the State Government has turned its blind eye on this. That there is sufficient stock of gas at about one hour drive from here and there is a gas crisis across the State is nothing but the government’s total negligence of the people.”
Lalruatkima stated that the Mualkhang bottling plant was established during the tenure of MNF Government from 2003-2008. “The plant is now unable to supply the growing demand of the people, but the Congress Government has not taken any step to build another bottling plant,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, Food & Civil Supplies Minister John Rotluangliana today said that the government has taken steps to solve the LPG crisis. On the problem in transportation of cooking gas from the bottling plants – from Borkhola, Silchar and Mualkhang, the Minister said as the contractors were selected by the IOC, the State Government has no authority to terminate them.
“As per our request, the IOC officials have started an inquiry into the matter. I also met Petroleum & Natural Gas secretary Kapil Dev Tripathy on October 10 and wrote to the Ministry to help solve our problem,” the Minister said.
The Minister also informed that 18,000 LPG cylinders have been transported to Mizoram during the last three days, which he hoped would mitigate the crisis.
The gas crisis began when the Young Mizo Association volunteers launched a crackdown on tampering of gas cylinders (by truck drivers) a few months back. Following a strict vigil against tampering that prevented the truckers from earning extra money, the truckers demanded higher pay from the contractors. As the contractors could not fulfill the truckers’ demand, the truck drivers refused to operate.
(Source: The Assam Tribune)