LPG supplies across the State have been affected as transport contactors are refusing to move the product in bulk from Kochi and Mangalore.

The reluctance of contractors comes in the wake of last month’s tanker explosion in Chala near Kannur that killed 20 persons.

Indian Oil Corporation in a statement issued here said that following the accident at Chala, transporters are refusing to lift bulk LPG from Mangalore meant for use by Kerala based LPG bottling plants of oil marketing companies.

Similarly they are not willing to place the bulk bullet trucks at Kochi Refinery for LPG loading and distribution to plants in various parts of Kerala such as Kollam, which has disrupted bulk LPG supplies across the State.

The LPG transporters’ refusal to go to Mangalore and Kochi is on account of alleged assault on LPG truck crew and levy of heavy penalty even for minor violations.

The disruption in bulk LPG supplies to bottling plants in Kerala has resulted in many oil industry LPG bottling plants going dry and as a result, supply of gas cylinders to the public has been affected.

“If this situation continues, the backlog in refill supplies is expected to build up in Kerala in coming days,” the statement said.

The situation has led to huge build-up of bulk LPG stock in Kochi refinery. As a measure of safety, this may lead to considerable reduction in refinery throughput and it is likely to affect other petroleum products as well, the statement said.

The oil industry has also approached the State government to convene a tripartite meeting involving oil industry, LPG transporters and the government to resolve this issue at the earliest.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 18, 2012)
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