The GOACAN, a consumer rights body on Monday held a protest in Margao in south Goa to highlight the growing problems faced by consumers because of the poor service provided by the petroleum companies through their dealers.

The protest was part of the LPG Consumer Rights Awareness Fortnight organised by GOACAN, said convenor Roland Martins on Monday evening.

Displaying black flags and placards, the volunteers focused on the various problems such as delayed home delivery of cylinders despite online booking, non-payment of rebate on collection of cylinder refills from the godown, overcharging, non-issue of bills, and harassment over filling up of KYC Forms.

From the time the Centre and the oil marketing companies restricted the number of domestic subsidised LPG cylinder to six in a financial year, the introduction of know your customer (KYC) forms and the blocking of multiple connections, consumers had faced harassment from the LPG dealers and their staff and poor intervention from the officials of the petroleum companies, said Mr. Martins.

Mr. Martins told consumers that as per the Marketing Discipline Guidelines for LPG 2001 recommended by the Sudha Joshi Committee, the petroleum companies were supposed to take disciplinary action in various forms ranging from show-cause notices, penalties, suspension, and even termination of dealerships for various violations. However, in Goa although the consumers from different taluks had been filing complaints over the years, the level of disciplinary action against the erring dealers had been far from satisfactory.

Goa today has nearly 4.5 lakh consumers of domestic LPG cylinders and the number of dealerships had not increased in proportion to the registered consumers thereby seriously compromising the services provided to the consumers. Some dealers serving Bharat Gas and HP Gas had crossed the permissible limits of connections that were to be serviced by them for which necessary steps were to be taken to transfer the access consumer to new dealerships, said Mr. Martins.

As per the Oil Companies Marketing Plan, Goa should have at least eight more new dealers which would immediately result in showrooms closer to the consumer, more staff, and more delivery vehicles making home delivery targets achievable.

GOACAN recently petitioned the District Collectors, Mihir Vardhan and N.D. Agrawal for relief on the various problems faced by the LPG consumers.

Meanwhile, GOACAN has appealed to LPG consumers to visit the websites of the respective companies www.hpgas.com www.ebharatgas.com and www.indane.co.in to file their complaints as well as to check their supply details on the transparency portals.

Copies of the complaints can be sent to GOACAN Complaints Cell Post Box 187, Margao 403 601 or email goacan@gmail.com


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