Check multiple gas connections: LPG dealers

Caught in the eye of a storm after a major LPG cylinder racket was busted last week, LPG dealers have demanded strict monitoring of norms when domestic gas connections are allotted to users. Distributors claim that a large number of households shy away from mandatory inspection, as a result of which households with more than one connection go undetected.

Usha Poonawala, president, All India LPG Distributors Federation, Pune, said, "While distributors are always blamed for anything that goes wrong, issues like households having more than one connection, consumers shying away from regular inspections, even if it be on health and safety grounds, are not brought to the forefront."

She said after connections are given, most consumers are not ready for inspection citing reasons ranging from lack of time in case of working couples to safety reasons as many have objections to allowing inspecting staff into their houses. "While people have such concerns, they conveniently forget that LPG cylinders are the only commodity that get delivered right in the kitchen," said Poonawala.

As of now, for verification of number gas connections in a household, a customer applying for a new connection is asked to give a declaration saying they don't have any connection. For those without a ration card, a declaration on a stamp paper is needed, along with address proof, identity proof and supporting documents.

Vijay Bhave, chairman, All India LPG Distributors Federation, Maharashtra circle, said, "The problem of more than one connection started coming up after 2002-04 when the central government instructed us to do away with all waiting lists of gas connections, and a large number of connections were given without proper verification of documents. Many users got multiple connections and it is those that have come into markets and are being misused."

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