As news spread on the shutdown of the Chelari LPG plant on Wednesday, in addition to the already limping production levels in the Udayamperoor plant, fears of another spell of a severe LPG cylinder shortage in the city and the district has gripped all stake-holders.
Any hindrance in LPG cylinder supplies in the central and northern regions of the state takes puts a toll on the Parippally plant catering to Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts, going by experience.
“There are unconfirmed reports that production in the Udayamperoor plant, which was stopped after the Director of Explosives issued a directive to rectify safety parameters, has commenced again. However, it is on a restricted scale as production is still halved,” said Sangeeth Kumar, state general secretary of the All-India LPG Distributors’ Federation.
Udayamperoor LPG plant brings out 150 truckloads every day. Production was hit for eight days recently and hence the backlog remains very high.
“Thiruvananthapuram district mostly banks on the Parippally plant supplies, though a sizeable portion was re-routed to districts south of Ernakulam,” said Sangeeth Kumar. “If production in the Udayamperoor plant is regularised, supplies in the district could be normalised within 2-3 weeks, as there will be little flow northward from Parippally,” he hoped, adding that it could turn into a mere wish also.
“The scenario is still volatile,” he maintained.
Dealers in the district have only limited supplies in godowns. There are 42 dealers in the district. Of whom, 25 are in the city limits. The LPG cylinder needs of the district are met through 35 truck loads. Out of the 10,000 cylinders needed, there is always a minimum backlog of 30 days for consumer booking. It has risen to 45 days now, thanks to the added backlog owing to the headload workers’ stir last month and Onam demand.