From Our Special Correspondent
Silchar, Sept 13: Black marketing in kerosene oil is not a new phenomenon and the consumer’s body has been vocal in raising the issue before the public and appropriate forum. It is well known that trading in kerosene oil is under the control of the government. Its sale in open market is prohibited. It is sold through State appointed agents. But quite unfortunately, thousands of litres of kerosene oil are being sold illegally everyday in the open market. In some of the marker area shops, the oil is being sold at the rate of Rs.40 to Rs.50 per litre.
Besides, such trading is also going on from the illegal points of this town, Kalain, Natun Bazar, Sonai, Nagatilla, Ramnagar, Rongpur, Lakhipur, Silcoorie as well as from other locations also. What is of concern is that it is from these points that lakhs of litres of kerosene oil, according to informed sources, are being transported to Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. This is being done in direct nexus between the hoarders and black marketers. The quantity of oil that the consumers of fair price shops are to get every month, this is not being made available to them.
An informed source says that against the 12 allotments, most of the fair price shops are supplying to the consumers 8 to 9 allotments only. Grahak Suraksha Samiti (GSS) in a statement has stated that even 30% kerosene oil sold through hawkers in every ward and panchayat level is also being subjected to foul means. People of this district of Cachar are witness to the open loot of kerosene oil. It is the people who can prove the allegation with the help of their own experiences and relevant papers.
Moreover, according to GSS, kerosene oil is distributed through the elected ward commissioners and panchayat representatives. If the commissioners and panchayat representatives do not furnish certificates about proper distribution to hawkers, the allotment of next month to them will be kept pending. It is clear from this modus-operandi that there is something fishy and foul with those who are entrusted with the responsibility. Biplob Kumar Goswami, general secretary, GSS, said if the consumers themselves are not vociferous in raising their voice, neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the state government can intervene in the matter.
GSS decries the all those public representatives who show the quantum of oil at their disposal sold which is not a veracity of fact. It is the people and the consumers in particular who alone can expose such unscrupulous elements. There are in all 16 kerosene agencies including one sub agency in Silchar sub division. The agency owners after lifting the kerosene oil from Ramnagar depot supply it among 607 hawkers in the urban areas and 1064 hawkers in the rural areas for distribution among the consumers. 30% of the oil is distributed through the ward commissioners and panchayat level representatives. The crux of the problem lies in this network of distribution, pointed out Goswami.
Hawkers with their license granted by the food and civil supply department alone can lift and sell the oil. It is also incomprehensible if the license issued to the hawkers is being monitored and examined by the authorities concerned. GSS has every reason to challenge the food and civil supply department to establish that all is not well and fair within. This allows gaps and loopholes for all sorts of corruptions and scams. Some of the hawkers have fake licenses. The consumers are the victims of this system who are deprived of their legitimate claim of kerosene oil duly allotted to them. GSS demands CBI inquiry into the alleged scam centring round the distribution of kerosene oil in the district of Cachar.
From Our Special Correspondent