The move is in response to complaints about consumers being snubbed

The Food and Civil Supplies Department has asked the oil marketing companies not to deny LPG refills to consumers whose connections have been either suspended or marked for verification under the Statewide drive to weed out illegal connections.

Deputy Director, Food and Civil Supplies, Sharanabasappa, told The Hindu here on Tuesday that he held a meeting with the sales officers of the three oil marketing companies on Monday and warned them against denying LPG refills. He said he did receive a couple of complaints from consumers who said that the distributors had denied refills to them on the ground that their connections had been suspended. He said he had instructed the distributors not to resort to such practices.

Mr. Sharanabasappa said the oil marketing companies had been given the distributor-wise lists of consumers, whose connections had been suspended or marked for verification. The companies had been asked to direct the distributors to display the lists for the benefit of consumers, he said.

People wanting to submit the documents relating to their LPG connections queued up at the department's office on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office here from morning. As there was a serpentine queue, more counters were opened and by evening the officials were able to receive documents from about 1,000 consumers. So far, about 3,500 consumers had submitted the documents. They were being uploaded to the website using four computers, he said.

Mr. Sharanabasappa said Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda visited and deputed some staff from his office to help the food inspectors to speed up the work. A college lecturer said he had to wait for about half an hour in the queue before being asked to bring more documents and submit.

Octogenarian Narayana Padakannaya and his wife Vasanthi from Konchady said the official received the documents from them without making them wait in the queue.

Ganesh Pai, a businessman from Derebail who too had come with his wife, said he had two connections and both had been marked for verification. He had deliberately taken connections – each with single cylinder – from different companies to circumvent the 21-day gap insisted by the distributors between supply of two refills. “I have been asked to explain this when they come for verification. Let me see what happens,” he said.

The department has decided to allow one connection per family. Mr. Sharanabasappa showed the Karnataka Government's “The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Regulation of Supply and Distribution) Order, 2000” which has defined (section 2 gg) a household as “family consisting of husband, wife, and unmarried children and dependent parents living together in a dwelling unit having common kitchen.” Section 3a of the order states that such household “shall not get more than one connection of LPG granted under public distribution system.” The present drive had been launched under these clauses, he said.

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