New Delhi, Oct. 13: Households in high-rise apartments drawing LPG from a common pool can breathe easier.
The three public sector oil companies — IOCL, BPCL and HPCL — have decided to treat each flat in a housing complex as an individual connection. This means each of these apartments will be billed at the subsidised rate for 42.6kg (14.2 x 3) of LPG drawn from the common reservoir till March 31, when this financial year ends.
According to the new norms that came into force on September 14, individual domestic connections are entitled to three 14.2kg subsidised cylinders till the end of this financial year, and six a year from April 1.
There were concerns that households getting LPG through pipes from common reservoirs in apartment complexes would be denied the subsidised quota.
In Calcutta, for instance, over 5,000 families drawing gas from a common pool at housing complexes were being billed at Rs 75 a kilo from October 1, which works out to Rs 1,065 for a 14.2kg domestic cylinder, almost thrice the cost of a subsidised cylinder.
A subsidised cylinder costs Rs 412.42 in the city. The price of a non-subsidised cylinder is Rs 925.17.
V.K. Yadav, state level co-ordinator of oil firms in the northern region, said each flat in a housing complex would be treated as an individual connection. Since the gas is metered, they would get LPG at the subsidised rate for the equivalent of three 14.2kg cylinders — or 42.6kg — till this financial year ends.
Although these flats will be treated as individual connections, they will not be allowed to hold individual connections. Only those flats that are occupied will get LPG at subsidised rates.
Yadav said housing societies should furnish to the gas distributor concerned the list of residents living in the complex along with proof of identity, proof of address, and KYC (Know Your Customer) and other standard declarations in the form of an affidavit.
Officials of the three oil companies said there was no shortage of domestic subsidised, domestic non-subsidised and commercial LPG cylinders, adding that there were enough cylinders available in the market to meet demands during the festive season ahead.
There are no restrictions on the number of domestic non-subsidised cylinders that consumers can avail themselves of beyond the subsidised LPG refill cylinders to meet “genuine” demands, the companies said in a statement.
Consumers need to have the Domestic Gas Consumer Card (DGCC) booklet with a serial number and consumer number entered by the distributor to get subsidised cooking gas.
“If any consumer has lost/misplaced the DGCC booklet or does not have the DGCC booklet or has a DGCC booklet without a serial number/consumer number, they must get in touch with their distributor and obtain a new booklet, duly stamped and signed by the distributor, after paying applicable charges,” the statement said.
Industry officials said the cash memo would indicate the number of subsidised cylinders delivered as well as the serial number of the domestic consumer card booklet issued to each customer. Oil marketing companies (OMCs), they added, were cross-checking KYC data to weed out multiple connections.
The officials said there was no ban on new LPG connections, but clarified that new connections were being released after receipt of completed forms and multiple connection checks by the OMCs.
“After a customer applies for a new LPG connection, the gas distribution agency after scrutiny sends an intimation letter informing the customer of the allotment being made. In all cases where such intimation letters have already been sent, new connections will be issued,” said an official.
While distribution agencies will continue to accept new applications, intimation or allotment letters will not be issued just yet.
These letters will be issued after eliminating multiple connections at a single address. “The cross checking and sometimes physical verifications could take time,” the official said. “But the situation should normalise within a month.”