LPG consumers struggle for refills in City

LPG consumers struggle for refills in City

The supply of LPG refills has gone from bad to worse after the relaunch of Pahal (Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG consumers) scheme, according to consumers.

Long queues, chaos and fights between consumers and distributors have become a common sight outside the gas agencies in the recent days.

Arvind C, a resident of Rachenahalli, heaved a sigh of relief as he finally got a confirmation from his LPG distributor - Sudheendra Gas Agency, HBR Layout - about the supply of cylinder to his home. He had been struggling to get a refill for 12 days.

Showing a copy of cash memo which he received on his phone, Arvind said: “I made the booking on February 8 and got the cash memo on February 23. I was supposed to get cylinder on the 23rd. When I contacted the gas agency, I was told that the booking has been cancelled. I have also got the Aaadhar linked to my bank account.”

He said that he tried calling IVRS, but there was no service.

Deepak Khanna, a Bharat Gas consumer from Magadi Road said that despite linking his LPG connection details with the bank account, he had not been credited subsidy for the past three months. Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Vijayanagar, said that though the subsidy had been credited to his bank account, he was having a tough time in getting a refill.

“Earlier I could ask the distributor to get the refill of cylinder. But now, I have to book only through Interactive Voice Response System(IVRS). I booked through IVRS a couple of weeks ago, but till date I have not got the refill. I guess distributors are facing system errors. Also, the distributors are taking bookings only if our LPG connections are linked with Aaadhar numbers or bank accounts,” Kumar said.

When contacted, Indian Oil Corporation Head of Bengaluru Division for LPG, Abhijit Dey, dismissed the complaints of cancellation of bookings and system errors. He said that only one booking had been cancelled till date - at a gas agency in Hebbal.

He, however, attributed prevailing problems to the possible short supply of refills due to the recent strike by bulk LPG transporters.

‘Delay in supplies’
“The gas agencies are not getting enough supply due to the earlier strike. Also, the tankers are being diverted via Shiradi Ghat instead of the earlier route from Mangaluru. The supplies to the distributors may have been delayed on account of these reasons. The problem will persist till March-end. We are trying our best to solve it,” he said.

The IOC officials said that about 80 per cent LPG consumers in the City had linked their Aadhaar details with bank accounts while it is 85 percent across the State.

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