In delivering LPG cylinders, BPCL is fighting twin challenges in Assam

New Delhi: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has ensured that LPG cylinders were delivered at the door of every customer in Assam despite the state grappling with the twin challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic and the devastating floods. LPG cylinders were delivered to the people in far-flung flood-affected areas by carrying cylinders in boats and also ensuring social distancing to avoid the spread of the pandemic.

BPCL has become highly responsive by leveraging technology to overcome these emerging challenges. The company has leveraged technology for transactions, communication, awareness and confidence building. "We have embraced online platforms wholeheartedly and provided solutions at every level for speed, efficiency and convenience to our customers," said BPCL in a statement.

BPCL had launched WhatsApp Booking and Payments recently to make it convenient for the customers to book refills. Now, additional features have been provided through WhatsApp like Instant Price Information, LPG delivery tracking, creating safety awareness and taking feedback from customers. Now any customer can access the following through WhatsApp:

• Booking a cylinder
• Payment of booked cylinder
• Refill delivery status
• Rate your distributor
• Emergency
• Complaint or feedback
• Price of cylinder
• Safety videos

Apart from WhatsApp, a slew of digital initiatives have been provided to the Bharat Gas customers like:

• PAY and BOOK options with all major apps like G Pay, Amazon, PayTM, Phone Pe, UPI etc.
• Bharatgas Mobile App booking and online payment
• Missed call at 77109-55555 which helps the customer to book refill and also get a link by SMS for payment online
• Web booking and online payment through ebharatgas.com
• IVRS booking 7718012345 / 7715012345

LPG cylinders are supplied from Numaligarh Refinery Marketing Terminal Bottling plant, which has been working continuously throughout the lockdown due to the pandemic.

The plant at NRL follows all SOP for preventing the pandemic in the plant. "Our plant was operating during the entire period of total lockdown to ensure that there was no scarcity of cooking gas. Our truck crews are on continuous duty for carrying LPG cylinders to distributorship network. As soon as the lockdown was declared, the transport crew was given a brief on the SOP to be followed to ensure that there is no spread of the pandemic. They were served with a free meal, sanitizer and masks," said the statement.

"Another challenge was to get food for them en-route where Dhaba and hotels were closed. BPCL Retail Outlets came forward for providing places to drivers to cook food, take rest and have a bath. Our delivery boys continued their work, as usual, reaching to every customer, be it in urban areas or at remote villages. Wearing mask and gloves, maintaining social distancing and using sanitizers frequently all our delivery boys delivered cylinders at the doorstep of the customers. Bharat Petroleum provides Bharat Arogya Yojana and Exgratia scheme for compensation in case of any eventuality due to Covid pandemic to our Corona Warriors," it added.

The devastating flood in addition to the lockdown owing to pandemic posed a serious challenge to BPCL delivery boys in getting cylinders at the doorstep. "Our delivery boys continued to work reaching by boat to around 12,000 customers in Kalgachia area, 2,000 customer in Tengagaon area in Barpeta District, 13,000 customers in Lakhipur area of Goalpara District, about 8,500 customers in Dhansirikash & Kharupetia of Darrang District, around 3000 customers in Borguli area of Nagaoan District," the statement said.

Apart from this, BPCL has also successfully delivered free refill to 6.27 lakh PMUY beneficiaries ( 93 percent of total customer base) under PMGKY despite all odds due to lockdown and devastating flood.

There are many villages in Assam especially in Char areas where the distribution of refill in a timely manner is really difficult due to remoteness and difficult terrain. BPCL has tied up with 50  VLE (Village Level Entrepreneur) of CSC (Common Service Centre ) who deliver refills to those remote places. This will make it convenient for consumers to book and get home delivery of refill cylinders on time.

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