Amid China row, IOC expands Ladakh network to bring fuel at doorstep in isolated villages
The company has added nine outlets, taking the total to 19, across Leh and Kargil districts in the three months and also launched a scheme to provide four LPG refills in advance for the winter months to consumers in 30 isolated villages
LEH: Amid raging border tension with China, state-run IndianOilCorporation has been on an expansion spree in Ladakh since September to bring kitchen and motor fuels at the doorstep of people living in border areas and other distant locations that get cut off from district headquarters during peak winter.
The company has added nine outlets, taking the total to 19, across Leh and Kargil districts in the three months and also launched a scheme to provide four LPG refills in advance for the winter months to consumers in 30 isolated villages.
On Tuesday, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering inaugurated one outlet in Shey near Leh and virtually dedicated to the nation nine others, saying the initiatives show that the Narendra Modi government is looking out for Ladakh and cares for its people. He thanked home minister Amit Shah and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan for striving to improve the lives of people of Ladakh and praised IndianOil for developing ‘winter grade’ fuels rated to fire up at -33 degrees Centigrade.
IndianOil executive director (Punjab State Office) Sujoy Choudhury said the Ladakh region requires different engineering and design approach in all aspects to ensure all-weather services due to the extreme variation in weather. He said for the first time, hot water and other engineering innovations were used to complete the work in sub-zero temperature.
The network expansion has extended the reach of winter grade petrol and diesel to help villagers dotting the desolate landscape of Ladakh stay mobile through the harsh winter. These villagers previously had to either stock up on fuel for the long winter or hazard a trip to Leh and Kargil since outlets were concentrated around these towns.
Most of these villagers are engaged in husbandry and continued mobility through the winter will help them stay connected with the market without having to make additional trips to refuel or bear the financial burden of stocking fuel in advance.
The advance LPG cylinder is another boon as consumers in distant villages had to bear the substantial cost in transporting refills across frozen mountain passages using horse or mules. In some cases, such journeys could last a few days. Under the scheme, IndianOil will bear the transportation cost and consumers will bear the cost of additional refills.
The latest outlets have come up in Drass, Padum, Tongday-Kumik, Sankoo and Titichumik in Kargil district and Khalsar, Nimoo and Saboo in Leh district.