The Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry has decided to extend the facility to book and refill LPG cylinders through short messaging service (SMS) and interactive voice response system (IVRS) to cover all dealerships throughout the country.

The facility has been introduced to reduce irregularities and provide better services to customers.

To check the misuse of domestic LPG cylinders and prevent their diversion to the black market, the Government has till date cancelled connections of customers who already have piped natural gas (PNG) facility.

Efforts to block LPG connections to such consumers will continue through regular monitoring and issue of instructions to the Oil Marketing Companies and City Gas Distribution (CGD) companies.

As on April 1, OMCs have blocked 8,89,267 LPG connections of PNG consumers. The OMCs have also introduced different colours for domestic and non-domestic LPG cylinders.

According to Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R.P.N. Singh, the OMCs — Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) — had introduced the facility of refill booking through SMS and IVRS in 18 States — Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Puducherry — and Union Territory of Chandigarh, covering 2,965 LPG distributorships and about 4.36 crore LPG customers.

Under this system, there is facility for confirmation of the refill booking along with information on the likely date of supply. The OMCs plan to expand the facility further to cover the remaining 63 lakh customers through 490 LPG distributorships.

Mr. Singh said OMCs had asked LPG distributors to deliver the refill cylinder ordinarily within two working days of booking.

However, due to factors such as supply constraints, strikes, road breaches, unplanned shutdown, natural calamities along with huge demand, it was seen that the distributors took more time to deliver the refill.

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