Gas agency at Gokarna: HC notice to Centre, State

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday ordered issue of notices to the Central and State governments in connection with a petition seeking allocation of a gas agency to the coastal pilgrimage and tourist town of Gokarna.

The petitioners, Shankar J Markhande and two others, had moved the High Court seeking directions to the Union government to allocate a gas agency so that the scarcity of cooking gas in the temple town is overcome.

The petitioners submitted that cooking gas is now made available from the nearest town of Kumta, 33 km away from the temple town, and that the gas agent who supplies the cylinders to Gokarna charges Rs 50 more per cylinder for transportation.

The counsel for the petitioners, Rajanikanth Kulkarni, said Gokarna gets lakhs of visitors every year.

“Unfortunately, there are no basic facilities. Consumers have to run with empty cylinders when the vehicle carrying LPG cylinders arrives in the town. There is neither a door-to-door service nor a designated selling point,” he said.

Intervention

According to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006, the Union  government can intervene and prevent exploitation of consumers and ensure regular supply of LPG.

Noting that the problem exists for the past 15 years and that several pleas to the government had fallen on deaf ears, the petitioners have sought directions to the State Government, Union Ministry for Petroleum, Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada district as well as Indian Oil Corporation to allocate a gas agency for Gokarna.

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