As the district administration has failed to fix the transportation charges for home delivery of cylinders to the areas beyond municipal corporation limit (rural areas), consumers are being overcharged.
The last time rates were revised before 2000 in Ludhiana. At that time, it was decided that Rs 15-25 will be charged for delivering a cylinder to the areas up to 30 kilometres from the city.
According to rule book, there are no additional transport charges for areas within the municipal limits.
Though Hissar district magistrate ML Kaushik had revised the rates in 2013 as per which Rs 15 will be charged per cylinder up to 15 kilometres and Rs 20 above 15 kilometres, no such notification has been issued in Ludhiana.
The All India LPG Distributers Federation (NWR) had already written to secretary food and supplies, Punjab, regarding fixing of delivery charges in urban areas.
Talking to HT, NWR president Gurpal Singh Mann said, “Our representative met the food and supplies secretary in Chandigarh in October to discuss the demand, but nothing positive came out of that meeting.”
Moreover, with no LPG distributors catering to rural population in Khanna, the distributors operating in urban areas have got another golden chance to mint money illegally as they can’t deliver outside municipal corporation’s limits without license.
They are charging Rs 50 and Rs 100 per cylinder from the consumers in rural areas.
Sarita, a house maker from Khanna, said, “I’m getting the LPG refills at high cost. When I raised voice against the extra charges, the delivery boy said the agency godown is 20 km away from your residence and if you need the service, you will have to pay extra.”
Ravjot Singh, who runs Resham Gas service at Khanna, said, “Urban distributors can only provide cylinders within the MC limit, but if they like to cater to the rural population, the agencies need to upgrade their license from urban to urban rural. I have received the letter from the oil company and the area of operation has been expanded from urban to urban-rural.”
Another consumer, Raju from Pavitar Nagar, said, “The price printed on the cash memo is Rs 679. But, the delivery boy charges Rs 30 extra every time he delivers the cylinder, though Pavitar Nagar falls within the municipal corporation limits. This is sheer cheating.”
Indian Oil Corporation Limited sources revealed that it is the duty of the distributors to provide services to the consumers and distributors should charge the price printed on the cash memo.
If the consumers are being overcharged, they can contact the district-level coordinators, they said.
The district food and supply controller could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.