New Delhi: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel ShriDharmendraPradhan today interacted with hundreds of District Nodal Officers (DNOs) of Oil Marketing Companies, to assess the distribution of LPG cylinders in districts, following the Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown. These DNOs are responsible for LPG deliveries in their assigned areas. Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Senior Officers of the Ministry and all three OMCs-IOCL, BPCL, HPCL also attended the webinar.
In his interaction through a video conference, ShriPradhan said that PradhanMantriUjjwalaYojana which established itself as a major vehicle of social change, will again emerge as a key player in India’s fight against the spread of the novel Coronavirus. He also highlighted the various features of PradhanMantriGaribKalyanYojana scheme for the PMUY beneficiaries such as availability of up to 3 refills for 14.2 kg cylinders and advance Retail Selling Price being transferred by OMCs to the PMUY customer’s bank account, which can be withdrawn to obtain the refill from the distributor. He instructed to ensure seamless implementation of this scheme.
The Minister asserted that 15 port terminals, 195 LPG bottling plants and the transportation network are currently operating everyday despite lockdown, thus ensuring sufficient availability and uninterrupted supplies of LPG products in the country.Commending the LPG delivery boys and OMC officials, he said, “Our team members are doing great work in ensuring uninterrupted LPG supplies to all households in every corner of the country. More than 60 lakhs cylinders are being delivered every day and this would not have been possible without the relentless efforts of our DNOs and the dedication of our distributors and LPG delivery boys.” He further advised the DNOs to ensure the delivery boys take all necessary health precautions for themselves and for the society, ensure social distancing and also asked to educate them about various initiatives taken by the Government for their welfare including announcement of an ex gratia of Rs. 5 lakhs.
He also asked the DNOs to work in close co-ordination with the local administration and engage in constant communication with the local community through media and social media also to provide constant reassurances regarding essential supplies being ensured.ShriPradhan urged everyone to follow all safety practices as advised by the Government. He also advised the DNOs to adopt and communicate various health measures advised by the Ministry of AYUSH. He also exhorted all DNOs to spread the word to ensure maximum response to the PM’s appeal for solidarity to the nation by ensuring blackout and lighting a lamp/candle/torch/mobile phone flashlight on April 5th at 9 PM for 9 minutes.
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. They also informed that the waiting period of cylinder delivery has come down. They said that announcement of the special ex-gratia of Rs 5 Lakh for LPG delivery boys and others involved in the supply chain, has boosted the morale of the staff at the field level. The DNOs are also publicizing the relief package announced by the Government for PMUY beneficiaries.