TODAY -

Gas agencies charge undue amount for new connection
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, April 17 2011: Various Gas Agencies in the state are charging more than ' 5000 to consumers for every new connection while the actual charge should be around ' 1500 only.

The allegation was made by RTI activist Ayekpam Keshorjit in a press meet.

Keshorjit had filed an application to the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) Y Dimbajit, Under Secretary, Consumers Affairs Food & Public Distribution seeking information on the actual charge a consumer should pay for a new connection.

The application was referred to Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), AC Sharma, Deputy General Manager (LPG) .

Keshorjit demanded a copy of the Rules and Instructions issued to the agencies for providing a new gas connection.

He also sought for the total amount to be paid by the consumer to the agencies, amount of profit of the agencies and whether an APR is to be issued to the consumer getting a new connection.

He also sought information of the list of gas agencies having weighing machines for gas cylinders and action to be taken against those agencies which do not have such weighing machines.

Keshorjit said that a reply to the information he had sought in the application he filed to the SPIO on February 24 and transferred to the CPIO came on March 11.According to CPIO, AC Sharma's reply, Ration Card or a stamped Affidavit (in case of those having no Ration Card) should be produced at the time of every new connection.

The actual amount to be paid to the agencies is around ' 1500 which includes ' 900 for security of cylinder, ' 100 for security of pipe and regulator, ' 435 as agency charge for towns with less than 10 lakh population and ' 510 for towns with populations of 10 lakh to 20 lakh.

There is no profit for any agency in giving a new connection and the security amount of cylinder, pipe and regulator should be deposited to the Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

Contrary to the reply of the CPIO given to him, the various gas agencies in the state are charging a very large amount at the time of every new connection.

These agencies are charging ' 5800 for a new connection with one cylinder and ' 8800 for two cylinders.

They are also charging ' 1500 to ' 2500 for every new connection without any cylinder.

Moreover they are charging ' 1000 for issuing the gas card.

They are also not issuing pipes and regulators for the new connections, he said.

Many families are buying cylinders from the black market to gift to their daughters or their sisters at the time of weddings.

Moreover the fraudulent nature of the various agencies has caused the people to spend a lot every month buying charcoal and firewood for domestic use since they cannot afford the unreasonable and illegal charges of a new gas connection, Keshorjit added.

Many commercial establishments in the state also use LPG adding to the woes of unavailability of cooking gas for domestic use.

Concerned authorities in the state are turning a blind eye to the issue, he said.

He also expressed suspicion of the agencies for not sending their monthly report to the concerned DC and IOC.

Moreover district administrations are also doing nothing in this regard.

Keshorjit urged the people of the state not to pay extra amount to the gas agencies in time of a new connection.

He urged them to be aware about the various schemes of the government.


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