Lose LPG connection if you don't use it for six months

Lose LPG connection if you don't use it for six months

Domestic LPG consumers who use cylinders sparingly better watch out. According to a little-known rule, they will lose their gas connection automatically.

​Ashok Bhat (name changed), a resident of Benson Town, recently got a notice from his LPG dealer stating that his connection would be cancelled as he had not ordered a refill in the past six months.

“When I checked with the gas agency, I was told that the oil companies have a policy of blocking orders for refills from consumers who don’t ask for a refill within six months. The agency staff were not clear about the logic behind the rule and informed me that as per rule, the connection gets cancelled automatically,” he said.

Bhat said his argument that he was the lone man to use the LPG cylinder cut no ice with the dealer.

​Sumathi R, a resident of JP Nagar, had a similar experience. “It definitely looks like a case of punishing consumers who are far less a drain on the fuel resource than those who order refills practically every month,” she said.

Sumathi said that after repeated enquiries, she was asked to write to the agency specifying the reason for sparse consumption of LPG to restore her gas connection. She said she was also asked to explain in writing every time she received the disconnection notice.

A staffer at Rashmi Gas Agency on Mysore Road said the idea behind the rule was to prevent diversion of cylinders and a letter for unblocking the supply would restore the connection.

However, ​Dharaneesh M N, a member of Vijayanagar Residents’ Association, wondered how there could be a misuse when the consumer knows the number of cylinders he or she has ordered or used.

“Also, when all the data pertaining to individual consumer usage is available on the portals of the oil marketing companies, how can there be misuse?” he asked.
​​Sathyan N, secretary, All India LPG Distributors Federation (Karnataka Circle), said the objective of the rule was to stop misuse of subsidised cylinders.

“You may be a genuine consumer using an LPG cylinder sparingly. But someone who has knowledge of the sparse usage could exploit the situation to his advantage. The letter from the actual consumer is to ascertain that it is he/she who is using the connection,” he said.

A senior official at the Food and Civil Supplies department said there was a demand from some customers, especially single men and women, to scrap the rule, as it amounted to harassment.

He said the issue would be discussed in the forthcoming meetings with the Federation. Consumers, too, need to realise that the idea behind such a rule is to weed out multiple or illegal connections, he said.

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