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Monday, May 27, 2013

LPG Connection-minimum usage clause

While there were discussions on limiting subsidized domestic LPG to 6 cylinders per year, also exists a rule which mandates that we use one cylinder within 6 months.

If a consumer doesn’t book a cylinder for more than 6 months, his/her account will be suspended. The intention behind this rule is good. If someone has changed address or for any other reason doesn’t need LPG connection, suspending connection makes sense. However it also causes inconvenience to people who’re trying to conserve LPG.

We bought an induction stove last year and started using it extensively. It is highly effective- saves time and energy. As a result our usage of LPG went down- was used only when there was no power or when we didn’t have right utensil for induction stove. Our cylinder lasted for more than 6 months.

When we tried booking a refill, we were informed of block put on our LPG connection. To set it right, I had to personally visit the dealer, provide copy of my address proof, ID proof, fill out a form, provide a photo and so on. About 3 hours and a hundred rupee (petrol, Xerox etc) had to be spent to convince them that I am alive at the same address and need my account re-activated.

While the concept of suspending unused connections is fine, I feel the process should be improved. Can we have the period increased from 6 to say 9 months? Also, before de-activation, can’t the agency make a call to take consumer’s opinion?

Now we need to chose between spending half a day and hundred rupee on reactivation OR spend more gas and empty the cylinder within 6 months.

Also read: What to do if LPG cylinders are stolen

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