Agencies charging extra for LPG cylinders from rural customers | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Agencies charging extra for LPG cylinders from rural customers

With no Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders distributors to cater to rural population in Khanna, Ludhiana, the distributors whose area of operation is urban are overcharging between Rs 50 and Rs 100 from the rural consumers. According to market discipline guidelines, the urban LPG distributors can only provide services within the municipal corporation (MC) limits.

punjab Updated: Aug 21, 2015 13:46 IST
Deepa Sharma Sood

With no Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders distributors to cater to rural population in Khanna, Ludhiana, the distributors whose area of operation is urban are overcharging between Rs 50 and Rs 100 from the rural consumers. According to market discipline guidelines, the urban LPG distributors can only provide services within the municipal corporation (MC) limits.

Sunita Rani, a consumer from Almoh village, said, "From the past two years, I am getting the LPG refills at higher cost. Whenever I argue with the delivery boy, he says that the agency godown is 20 km away from our area and if we need service, we have to pay extra."

Another consumer, Balwant Singh, from Khamanon village, said, "The price printed on the cash memo is Rs 636 for refilling of a cylinder. But the delivery boy is charging Rs 650 every time for refilling. Whenever we argue, he says the village is not in their area of operation still they are deliveringthe cylinders."

When contacted, Indian Oil Corp's senior area manager for Chandigarh Rakesh Kumar said, "As there was no representation from the rural population, the urban LPG distributors are providing the services."

On being asked the number of LPG distributors who are catering to consumers outside their area of operation, he said there are a few, but it is difficult to provide exact figures.

When asked that LPG distributors are overcharging the rural consumers, he said it is the duty of the distributor to provide services to the consumers and distributor ought to charge the price printed on the cash memo. If the consumers are being overcharged, they can contact the district-level coordinators.

President of the Lok Sewa Club, Khanna, PD Bansal said, "Information sought under the Right to Information Act-2005, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited do not allow distributors to issue gas connections beyond the MC limits (rural area consumers). I will write to the oil companies so that they can provide distributorship or increase their area of operation to cater to rural population."

In Ludhiana district, Resham Gas service, Khanna (Bharat gas distributor) area of operation is increased from urban to urban rural and is allowed to provide LPG cylinders service to rural population. Now the distributor will provide services to 88 villages. Talking to Hindustan Times, Ravjot Singh, owner of the Resham Gas service said, "I have received the letter from the oil company last month and the area of operation is increased from urban to urban rural. So I will ensure that all the villagers under my area of operation will get the supply on time and if they face any inconvenience than they can contact us. The delivery boys are already directed to carry weighing machines so that at the time of delivery the weight of the cylinder can be checked."