Cracking down on LPG hoarders : Now go for the big fishes

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It is obvious. The drive launched by the State police against LPG hoarders and seizing 686 LPG cylinders in the last two days perfectly complements the campaign launched by The Sangai Express under the caption, “WANTED: Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas”.

This is what gives us a certain sense of satisfaction, after all as a newspaper we can only bring certain things to the notice of everyone while it is up to the Government to take it up from there and see what may be done.

Cracking the whip, this is what the Government has done and this augurs well for everyone.

Now that it is well known that certain elements have been hoarding cooking gas, it is only right that the State police try to find out how the hoarders managed to lay their hands on such a large number of gas cylinders in the first place.

As IGP Soibam Ibocha revealed during a media conference on September 30 at the conference hall of the Imphal West SP, there is strong likelihood of some gas agencies working hands in gloves with the black marketers and it is only right that the State police get down to the task of cracking the case and unmask all those who have been milking the situation dry.

Perhaps the police may start from something as basic as from where the black marketers managed to lay their hands on such a large number of cylinders and in whose name.

How did they manage to get so many connections is the question that follows.

Or is it a case of the black marketers collecting the connection lines of some individuals and hoarding the LPG cylinders ?

This is not very likely for remember the gas distribution rate and a look at the gas delivery news will give one a fair idea of the point that is sought to be delivered here.

With most of the gas agencies still delivering filled LPG cylinders for those who booked back in April or May, it is here that the question arises on how the black marketers managed to stock up such a huge number of filled cylinders.

More than likely that there are bigger fishes involved. Big fish who do not directly sell the cooking gas in the black market but lease them out to others and take a cut from

them. Moreover in whose bank accounts are the subsidised money deposited by the gas agencies, that is where the DBTL system has been enforced strictly ?

These are some fundamental points and answers that the public would want to hear.

Crackdown launched, this is fine and good, but something more needs to be done and that is to get down to the bottom of it all and expose all the names involved and not merely be satisfied with hauling up those found selling the filled cylinders in the black.

Who finance them ? How did they get so many LPG connections ?

These are elementary questions that need to be followed.

As has been pointed out many times in this column, the police will need to look beyond the petty traders who sell one or two filled gas cylinder from their road side shops but seek to unearth the big names, who have been making good money by capitalising on the shortage of cooking gas.

To these elements, the highway cut off due to landslides or even a blockade would come as sweet music for it is their trade to capitalise on the suffering of the people.

For starters deeply study the distribution pattern of the hill based gas agencies.

For example, is it possible for an LPG truckload to go all the way to say, Pherzawl, Kasom Khullen etc download the same and return to Imphal the next day ?

Source: The Sangai Express

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