Authorities in Kashmir have dismissed alarmist rumours about an order asking oil marketing companies to stock up two months' supply of LPG cylinders in the Valley.
Department of Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs said that they had done enough stock building to last two months in the area as they dismissed earlier reports.
"There were rumours but we've ample stock of LPG cylinders. No need to panic. We've kept stock for 2 months as there's possibility of landslide on national highway due to ongoing work resulting in its frequent closure," said Jammu & Kashmir Food Civil Supplies & Consumers Affair Director.
Reports had earlier said a government order asking for stock building in the Valley sparked serious speculations, especially in the wake of the LAC face-off.
According to 27 June order issued by the director of the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department in Kashmir, an adviser to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu has passed directions in a meeting on June 23 "to ensure sufficient stocks of LPG in the valley as the supply of the same gets affected due to closure of the National Highway on account of frequent landslides", reported PTI.
"The same has been written by the Director, FCS&CA Kashmir, to prevent any shortfall of essential commodities (particularly LPG) during the ensuing Monsoon season" a statement clarified later.
"We all know that the NH-44, between Ramban-Jawahar tunnel stretch, behaves in an unpredictable manner during the rains. Currently, we maintain nearly a month of stock in Kashmir. We have requested the LPG companies to explore the feasibility of maintaining the stock for nearly 2 months to prevent any panic situations that may arise in the event of highway closure for longer duration," the statement added, reported IANS.
The order was followed by rumours that the decision to build stocks was a prelude to 'something big in the offing' albeit such similar exercises are common in winter months in view of frequent disruptions on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, such huge stocking does not usually take place in summers.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also cited another communique by the Ganderbal district police for making provisions for lodging of central forces and said such orders create panic in Kashmir and sought an explanation from the government.
"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," Omar tweeted, referring to the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 provisions in August last year.
National Conference leader Tanvir Sadiq demanded an explanation from the government, saying the people of Kashmir cannot afford to live another year in "fear and uneasiness".
"It's summer so not many landslides. Stock for two months. Matter most urgent. These three points need clarity at the highest level. People of Kashmir can't afford to live in yet another year of fear and uneasiness," he posted on Twitter.
Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Ganderbal, sought to link the orders with the situation along the LAC. "...whatever it is, it is causing anxiety among the people in the valley," he said.
Indian and Chinese armies have been on a six-week standoff in several areas of eastern Ladakh. The ties between the two countries came under severe strain after Chinese military killed 20 Indian Army personnel and injured around 76 in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on 15 June.