Mumbai: National oil marketing companies have come out on Sunday allaying the fears of consumers about product shortages, saying there is absolutely no shortage of any fuel, especially cooking gas, which is being supplied to customers at their doorsteps.
On average, the daily supply of cooking gas has gone up by at least 35-40 percent since the lockdown, in spite of working with minimal staff, the companies said.
The collective assurance of uninterrupted supplies of all oil products, especially LPG cylinders, by Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL, come amidst panic booking of cooking gas by consumers since the national lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
This, coupled with staff shortage, has led to some delays in the initial days of the lockdown but now it has been normalised, they added.
Talking to PTI in Mumbai on Sunday, Mukesh Kumar Surana, the chairman and managing director of the ONGC-run Hindustan Petroleum said, there is absolutely no room for consumers to worry about LPG shortages at all.
"I assure all public that there is no shortage of any oil products at all. All the more let me assure that there is absolutely no shortage of LPG at all. In fact, our LPG plants are working at over capacity to meet any spike in demand. I request all not to engage in the panic booking of cooking gas," Surana said.
Explaining how HPCL has augmented LPG supplies, he said at the national level the daily supply has gone from 12 lakh cylinders to 15 lakh a day for his company.
In Mumbai, HPCL has supplied 56 percent more cylinders on Saturday, from 34,000 to 51,000, while in Pune the spike in supplies is 54 percent, he added.
Surana also said, HPCL has equipped all its delivery boys with masks, sanitisers and also trained them in social distancing. Accordingly, they have been asked not to carry cylinders to individual homes but to the society gates as there are restrictions on entry for outsiders at many societies.
"Unfortunately, we had many instances of cylinders being returned from many societies in the city which is a logistical problem as wastage of resources, who are anyways are in very short supply," Surana rued.
Similarly, the second-largest player, BPCL said its daily LPG supplies in Maharashtra has gone up by 32 percent, while the same is up 40 percent in Mumbai and 37 percent each in Navi Mumbai and Thane, a BPCL spokesman told PTI.
In an interview to PTI earlier in the day in New Delhi, the IOC chairman said there is absolutely no need to worry about any shortage of fuel items.
"We have mapped demand for all fuel for the entire April and beyond. We have refineries operating at levels enough to meet all of the demand. Besides all bulk storage points, LPG distributorships and petrol pumps are functioning normally. There is absolutely no shortage of any fuel," Singh said.
At another level, the oil companies are also out in the media explaining that there is no shortage of LPG.
While IOC has released an ad on the DD with the chairman Sanjiv Singh himself assuring of uninterrupted supplies of all oil products, especially LPG, and also launched a Twitter campaign saying it is delivering gas with the help of the police machinery, BPCL is undertaking social media campaign on its Facebook page, Twitter handle and the Instagram page since the lockdown was announced.
The BPCL campaign promises LPG delivery at the door step, assuring ample product availability and also exhorting sanitisation methods and social distancing.
In IOC ad, the chairman is assuring the public of absolutely no issues in supplying all petroleum products, especially cooking gas and kerosene, and that all its depots, and LPG bottling plants, including import terminals, are functioning at full capacity.
"All our stakeholders and our employees are working round the clock to ensure that supplies are normal. I once again assure everyone that all the products are available for all customers and there is absolutely no need for any panic booking," says Singh.
IOC''s Twitter campaign says ''home delivery of LPG cylinders is on as usual and the delivery chain is being supported by the state police. Citizens need not expose themselves to health by going personally to distributors.
Updated Date: Mar 30, 2020 12:36:34 IST