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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Fake kitchens and 'breakups' in family for extra cylinders

Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, October 18, 2012
First Published: 15:01 IST(18/10/2012) | Last Updated: 15:03 IST(18/10/2012)

"Suddenly it seems families are breaking up. Every brother is either living separately or is going to start living separately now on," said an LPG dealer -- flooded with requests for new LPG connections every day post the recent subsidy cap on cylinders.

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Apprehensive and confused domestic gas consumers are frequenting their LPG dealers, asking about new connections and what they should do in case they have a large family.

"We are flooded with enquiries and applications for new connections every day. It is strange that that it appears as if families are breaking up only after the subsidy cap," says Vineet Johar, who runs Johar Gas (Indane) at Number 5.

The dealers are also having a tough time in dealing with consumers who have either lost their 'blue' booklet or don't have it all. For any refill, it is now mandatory to possess one.

Those not having the booklet have been asked to reapply and get their documents re-verified and those whose connections have been blocked have been asked to  produce affidavits to confirm they have a 'separate' household.

Anil Maheshwari, who is a distributor for Hindustan Petroleum, told HT that under the new system, all re-filling have to be entered into records.

"When we tell consumers that they have to get domestic gas consumer card booklet with a serial and consumer number, or else they would not be supplied gas, they get angry. It is not our fault. It is a procedure we have to follow from now on," he said. 

Another dealer, a distributor for Bharat Gas in New Market, maintains that the 'blue' booklet is important because the cash memo inside will indicate the number of subsidised cylinders delivered against the entitlement of the consumer.

A functionary of the All India LPG Distributors Federation, MP Circle, said most distributors in the city have limited manpower and so it's not possible for them to check whether those taking more than one connection are actually eligible to do so.

"The oil marketing companies have shared customer data between them to identify households with multiple connections and are already in the process of stopping the supplies to such households till the additional connections are surrendered.  But dealers in the city are at the receiving end. Customers feel it is that dealer who is doing everything. They don't know that dealer is also frustrated and worried", he said. 

Manish Diwedi, a resident of Saket Nagar, made a revelation: "Some families have already started setting up fake kitchens at their houses in order to apply for a new connection."


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