SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: The Jammu & Kashmir government has asked state-run fuel retailers to stock up on cooking gas cylinders to keep supplies going for two months in the Kashmir valley even if road connectivity is disrupted due to frequent landslides or flooding during the
The order triggered wild speculations as people began linking it to the deadly border standoff with China in Ladakh and the large military deployment there.
Food and consumer affairs director Bashir Ahmad, however, said it is a routine order and there is nothing unusual about it. Senior executives from oil companies responsible for maintaining supplies in the Valley also emphatically said the order had no connection with the situation in Ladakh.
Indeed, the order very clearly says the buffer stock is being created to avoid shortages when “frequent landslides” disrupt traffic on the National Highway-1, the main road link to Jammu and the mainland. It asks oil companies to stock up bulk LPG at their bottling plants and cylinders at godowns of distributors.
is the lead supplier in the Valley with 55-60% of the market share. The company has a bottling plant near Srinagar.
and Bharat Petroleum supply the rest.
In contrast to the Valley, Ladakh, even after remaining cut off during the winter and dependent on road connectivity through Kashmir and Himachal, is better off in terms of LPG supplies because of an IndianOil bottling plant built near Leh by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. The plant has enough stocks to continue supplies for three months and is currently replenishing supplies.
As reported earlier by TOI, IndianOil is carrying out advance winter stocking exercise to fill up fuel storages in Ladakh for the winter. It is maximising despatches before the monsoon to avoid delays caused by landslides, floods or inclement weather in the mountains. The advance stocks keeps life going in Ladakh through the long winter, which can last for up to eight months.
In another development, the Ganderbal police has decided to house Central armed police forces deployed for the Amarnath Yatra in 16 educational institutions, including ITI buildings, middle and higher secondary schools.
The authorities have started taking over to make another emergency air force runway at Chandhara in Lethpora in pulwama district. This will be other than the one already under process on the National Highway 44 in Bijbehara area in Anantnag district in south Kashmir.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said these orders are creating panic in Kashmir. "Government orders are creating panic in Kashmir & unfortunately after all the lies & false assurances last year even if/when the government explains these orders hardly any of us will take the assurances at face value. That said they still need to explain these orders," he tweeted.