Infrastructure

Aadhaar-linked LPG: oil firms step on gas

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A large section of LPG consumers have been in a tizzy over the approaching December 31 deadline for registering under the modified Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) scheme, which links their bank accounts to their LPG IDs for subsidy.

Oil companies have, however, asked consumers not to panic, since they have a grace period of three more months to complete the registration process.

Over the past week, gas distributors in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram have been seeing large crowds with queries every day. “Many gas agencies are only single-room offices and have no space for people to even stand inside. They are not able to handle the over 1,000 people they see every day. We have asked agencies to work even on Sundays so that consumers are not inconvenienced,” said a source in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation.

There are around 250 agencies and 40 lakh consumers in the three districts, and of these, around 8 per cent have seeded their accounts. On Monday, oil company representatives met and decided to hold camps during weekends to deal with consumers directly.

“The companies are coming together to organise the camps. We are in discussion with the police and local bodies to arrange for space to organise the camps,” said a source in Indian Oil Corporation.

Many consumers say there is not much clarity in the information provided by the oil companies. V. Radha, a resident of R.A. Puram, said she was a non-Aadhaar consumer and that her agency had asked her to submit another form at her bank. But non-Aadhaar consumers need to submit only one form — either at the bank or the agency.

Pattabiram resident A.S. Balaji said he was confused about the 17-digit LPG ID. “The ID printed on my previous bill had only 16 digits. I got an SMS from the oil company and that had 17 digits,” he said.

Consumers who are unable to fill the forms complain that agencies refuse to help them. “In some places, there are people sitting a few metres away from the agencies who are charging for the forms and for filling them,” said a resident.

V. Rajagopal, president, Anna Nagar Western Extension Phase-II Residents Welfare Association, said agencies were refusing to accept name change applications as they were bogged down by DBTL work. The Chennai Corporation zonal offices, too, are witnessing huge crowds seeking Aadhaar applications, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 12:32:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-infra/aadhaarlinked-lpg-oil-firms-step-on-gas/article6673690.ece

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