To speed up the pace of providing piped (cooking) gas connections in Indore, the gas distributor has now started a referral scheme and is giving cash incentive of Rs 300 for every new connection.
Four years after launch, piped natural gas (PNG) has reached only 4,000 households in the city despite the distributor, Avantika Gas Ltd (AGL), having launched an awareness drive to educate consumers on its benefits over LPG cylinders. The new referral scheme is part of the ongoing effort to increase adoption.
“We have launched a referral scheme in a bid to speed up new connections. The problem is that people are reluctant to pay the security deposit and surrender the LPG cylinders,” AGL managing director Anil Kumar said. The company has set a target of 14,000 by the end of the financial year.
After launching operations in Saket and South Tukoganj area, the company is now expanding to other locations in the city, including Bhanwarkuan area and Pipliyahana. “Work will soon start to lay pipelines in the heart of the city in Palsikar area,” an AGL official said.
When the piped natural gas project took off in Indore in December 2011, the authorities had set an ambitious target of 1.20 lakh connections by fiscal 2016-17.
However, reluctance of people to surrender their LPG cylinders and to shell out the initial registration amount - a prerequisite for getting the connection - coupled with procedural delays has slowed down the project and forced authorities to revise the target. Another problem is that the price difference between piped gas and LGP cylinder is negligible.
While the Union government has asked the company to set a target of 1 lakh connections in the next two years, a consultant hired by the company has stated that it will take about five years to achieve that target in the city.