Oil firms delivering over 60 lakh LPG cylinders daily during lockdown: Pradhan
Pradhan interacted with dozens of district nodal officers of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) over video-conferencing to access the distribution of LPG cylinders in districts following the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent 21-day nationwide lockdown, an official statement said here.
The district nodal officers (DNOs) of oil marketing companies are responsible for LPG deliveries in their assigned areas.
"Appreciating the efforts of DNOs and their teams, Pradhan said that in this time of unprecedented crisis, the LPG teams of the companies have risen to the occasion and delivered the cylinders on time despite so many restrictions and health hazards," the statement said.
He said that due to the COVID-19 crisis and the nationwide lockdown, the consumption and demand of cylinders have gone up.
"The OMCs (oil marketing companies) are delivering on an average 50-60 lakh cylinders daily, and are playing an important role in the national fight against Covid-19," it said.
Pradhan asked the three oil marketing companies to now gear up to provide 3 free cylinders to over 8 crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries over the next 3 months.
He asserted that 15 port terminals, 195 LPG bottling plants and the transportation network are currently operating everyday despite lockdown, ensuring sufficient availability and uninterrupted supplies of LPG products in the country.
The government had last month announced free cooking gas to PMUY beneficiaries, who are poor women who got free cooking gas connections since 2016, as part of the economic stimulus to deal with the lockdown. Three 14.2-kg LPG cylinders come together with free foodgrain and cash for the poor.
Pradhan said advance funds are being provided to the LPG distributors for releasing the first free cylinder, and the scheme should be implemented efficiently so that poor sections of the society do not suffer in this time of difficulty.
"The minister also called the OMCs to help the migrants and provide food to them," the statement said. "He called upon the DNOs to generate awareness among the masses and all the stakeholders about health precautions and social distancing."
The DNOs reported that after the initial hiccups, things have settled down.
The panic booking of cylinders, which was noticed in the initial few days of the lockdown, has stopped, the statement said adding that the waiting period of the cylinder delivery has come down.DNOs, according to the statement, said the announcement of the special ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for LPG delivery boys and others involved in the supply chain in case of a casualty due to COVID-19, has boosted the morale of the staff at the field level. ANZ HRS
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