LPG distributors resume giving new connections

LPG distributors resume giving new connections

Distributors of all three public sector oil companies -- BPCL, IOC and HP -- had st­op­ped processing applications seeking new connections since January this year, following the launch of a drive by the State Food and Civil Supplies (F&CS) department to cleanse the LPG cylinder supply system.

The F&CS department aims to link LPG connections with consumers’ RR (Revenue Register) numbers of electricity connections to weed out bogus connections. The process of verifying the authenticity of LPG connections across the state is still on.

To ensure that no new bogus connections are sanctioned, the distributors have been collecting copies of the latest monthly electricity bills, besides proof of residential address of consumers, along with their applications.

“We have directed our distributors to sanction new connections after thorough verification of these documents. Inspections are being conducted to verify the addresses, if necessary, before sanctioning fresh connections, “ a top official of an oil company said.

Soon after launching the drive in January this year, the department had orally requested oil companies to temporarily stop sanctioning new connections. The department wanted the companies to wait until it completed the drive to weed out bogus connections, and the companies readily agreed, the official said.

But the drive suffered a lot of delay, mainly during the collection of RR numbers from customers. The department repeatedly extended the deadline for the submission of RR numbers.

Thereafter, it will publish names of those who are found having bogus connections. Delay by the department has mounted pressure on the oil companies to issue fresh connections to people.

 An average of 200 applications are being received from members of the public everyday seeking new connections in Bangalore alone, officials pointed out. However, department officials are apprehensive that sanctioning new connections now would have an adverse impact on the drive.

 The department wants to minimise errors in the database and hence, the process is getting delayed. If the oil companies issue new connections at this juncture, the database will not be an updated one. And there are chances of sanctioning bogus connections also.

When contacted, department secretary B A Harish Gowda said the oil companies should refrain from issuing new connections till the drive is completed. The drive is being conducted to save tax-payers’ money by removing bogus connections, he added.

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