The collector had called an urgent meeting of gas company officials against the backdrop of increasing consumer complaints against gas agencies in the city. The collector made it clear that it is the responsibility of gas companies to maintain a smooth distribution of LPG cylinders through their agencies, and they should not direct consumers to contact the district administration in this regard.
“The collector literally scolded all officials representing LPG gas companies. He said that from the last few days, citizens are facing many problems as agencies are flatly denying home delivery of LPG on time,” said a top official who was present at the meeting, on condition of anonymity.
According to official, the Collector has issued strict orders that a consumer should get delivery of LPG within 24 hours after booking. There should not be waiting list beyond four days. To reduce the ambiguity on number of gas cylinders at subsidised rate, the Collector has also asked gas companies to see to it that relevant information is shared with the customers through appropriate channels, i.e. through their website and press notes.
Collector Vikas Deshmukh said, “I directed gas company officials to immediately activate their helpline numbers to address consumer grievances. There is panic among consumers over the new price of domestic and commercial gas cylinders. Till March 31 every consumer will get three cylinders at the subsidised rate. Gas companies should come forward and spread the information to address consumer grievances.”
On the other hand, the Food Distribution Office (FDO) issued separate notices to gas companies officials by holding them responsible for irregularities in home deliveries of LPG cylinders.
“We are receiving many consumer complaints from the last eight days about citizens not receiving home deliveries of cylinders from gas agencies. As the flow of complaints is not reducing, we served notices to LPG gas companies on Monday,” food distribution officer Dyaneshwar Janwanjal said.
When MiD DAY contacted a top official at Hindustan Petroleum (HP), he confirmed having received the notice from FDO, but refused to comment or mention any details about the collector’s meeting.
Piped gas confusion
Parikshit Phule, a resident of High Life society, Sinhgad Road, complained that his society members are still not clear about the new rates and changed subsidy policy of LPG gas. “Our society uses piped gas facility, and for total 72 flats we require 10 cylinders per week. But we are learning that from now onwards our society will only receive six cylinders at subsidised rates, as gas agencies are considering one society as one consumer,” he said.
Reacting to the confusion among piped gas customers, district collector Vikas Deshmukh has made it clear that according to the new rules set by the government, societies having pipe gas facility will be considered as a single consumer.
“Irrespective of the number of flats in a society, if the society is availing pipe gas facility they will be considered as a single consumer. In such a case, consumer have an option to relinquish piped gas, and opt for a separate gas connection or they can activate their previous gas connection to avail six cylinders annually at the subsidised rate,” he said.