Ration card notice confuses LPG consumers

READERS PLEASE NOTE:
Deadline extended till February 19th
Feb 5th, 2011: Citizen Matters has published a simple guide to upload your compliance information directly at the Food and Civil Supplies Department website: Start here and proceed.

A notice issued by Karnataka’s Department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs on has confused citizens, media and LPG gas agencies.

Karnataka’s Department of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs issued a notice on January 18, saying that Above Poverty Line (APL) ration card holders should submit a photocopy of their card, with the electricity meter number written on it, along with a recent electricity bill, within 10 days to their LPG distributors. The notice adds that APL cards of those who fail to do this will be cancelled and that distributors will be asked to stop LPG supply to them.

The purpose of the notice was to weed out lakhs of duplicate APL cards that have entered the system. Several city dailies reported this notice as well.

But the notice was silent about the status of citizens who have LPG connections and do NOT have APL cards. This in turn has causeed confusion. Lakhs of middle-income and affluent citizens do not use the civil supply system and hence do not have APL cards. 

A resident of a layout in Kadugodi, adjacent to Whitefield was asked by Sri Vishnu Indane Gas agencies earlier this week to submit his APL ration card when he made a routine call for a fresh cylinder. Surprised, he told the agency he did not possess an APL card. But the agency continued to insist that he had to submit his APL card!

Sri Vishnu Indane could not be reached for comment when this article was originally published. However, the head of a Hindustan Petroleum gas agency off Kanakapura Road confirmed to Citizen Matters, on condition that he not be named, that people reading media reports had been both confused and worried by it. "One citizen had walked in to his outlet and surrendered his original APL card, fearing disconnection", he says.

What you need to know

LPG Consumers with APL cards need submit a copy of your APL card with your electricty meter number written on it, and a copy of a recent electricity bill.

For LPG consumers without APL cards, the FCS department issued a clarification on January 28. Such consumers should give their electricity meter RR number along with LPG connection number to their distributors. The department also extended the deadline to February 9. 

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Update – January 31st 2010: Citizen Matters spoke again with Harish Gowda, Secretary, FCS Department, with more questions sent to us by readers. 

Whether the name on the BESCOM meter (for RR number) should match the name on the LPG connection and ration card. 

Harish Gowda: There is no need for the name in the RR number to match with LPG connection name or ration card name. The data about RR numbers and their respective addresses have already been collected from the ESCOMs – this is foolproof.

If 3 people give the same RR number for different connections, then inspectors will check as to which RR number has the correct address. There maybe cases where three houses actually have the same RR if they get their power from the same meter. In that case, they will be allowed to keep their connections.

Whether people without APL ration cards must now get them:

HG: People do not have to get ration cards (to comply with this initiative). They can get it if they want to.

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Update – February 2nd, 2010: The documents – copy of electricity bill, ration card (applicable for those who have cards), and LPG connection number can be sent directly to Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department by:

Post to Commissioner, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, No.8, Marketing Federation Building, Cunningham Road, Bangalore 560052
Fax to 080-22372204 

The website http://www.ahara.kar.nic.in was notified by department for direct upload of these documents, to eliminate need for citizens to go the gas agencies. But at present it has no upload facility. When contacted, an FCS official said on February 2nd that the department was aware of the website problem and trying to fix it. 

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Update  – February 4th, 2010: Click http://web5.kar.nic.in/fcslpg/ here to start your document upload. 

Addendum
Last updated February 9th 2011.

14 Comments

  1. Hi all,

    Today I have collected my Ration card in Bangalore which says “APL with LPG”. The reason I applied for ration card was to get a new LPG connection. Can I get a new LPG connection with this ration card or should it be “APL without LPG”?

    If yes, How do I get this changed now?

    Regards,
    Ravi

  2. I am staying in my sister’s appartment. The LPG connection is in her name. Also the electricity in her name. Currently not holding any APL card. Is it mandatory to upload all the three documents (copy of LPG connection bill, copy of ration card and Bescom Bill) that are mentioned in the site (http://web5.kar.nic.in/fcslpg/). I am asking this as currently i dont have any APL ration card.

  3. Thanks for this very useful article. I admit I was quite clueless about this whole ballyhoo, came to know abt this nonsense by chance, searched, landed on this website, and got a comprehensive update, uploaded my docs on the website, got an acknowledgment.

    PS: I’ve been reading citizen matters magazine for long. You guys rock.

  4. They are not verifying ration card holder, they are verifying multiple gas connection in the same house. This is good, but it should be brought under one roof and the data entry should be done immediately and verified if not all this exercise will go waste.

  5. Hi,

    It is very interesting to see a web site with a lot of knowledge sharing.
    hope to contribute too.

    Regards
    President- HGRWA(r)

  6. I heard from minister Shobha Karandlaje on a TV channel that FCS dept has also set up website to upload the details. But did not mention the website name. Anyone knows the website?

  7. This makes no sense. They want to verify Ration Card holders – then what is the point of verifying Electricity meters against Gas Connection addresses (for those who don’t have a Ration Card)? Instead – wouldn’t the logical thing be to ask Ration Card holders to submit Address Proofs at the point when they purchase something from the Ration shops ?

    Now if you were verifying spurious gas connections – then ……

  8. I am a resident of Bangalore, and stay in rented accomodation, I tried to apply for a ration card once but the people at Guttahalli asked for a heavy bribe and I abandoned the attempt. Now I do have a gas connection, but it is in the address of my previous residence, and the new residence address has not been updated. The electricity bill is in my house owners name. I guess this ‘honest’ attempt by the government will result in my connection getting canceled for no fault of mine.

  9. It is now clarified by the Secretary, Food & Civil Supplies Dept, that all Gas distributors should accept from Non-Card holders, the recent copy of the Electricity bill with the Gas consumer number and name written on it.No other document is necessary.

  10. I am on this job right from the day the advt came in the Papers. I contacted the toll free number and I was told that those who do not possess APL cards,should apply to the Gas supplier stating that they do not have APL cards issued to them. They should give their Gas consumer Number and the RR No. given in the Electricity Bill from Bescom along with a copy of the recent electricity bill . My Indane gas supplier initially refused to take this and after my complaint to the Civil supplies dept, it was accepted. Yesterday, the gas agency has started accepting only the Copy of the Electricity bill with the Name and Gas consumer number written on it.
    The Civil Supplies Dept has not taken into account the plight of non card holders and the variations involved such as the name of the gas consumer, the actual user, resident being a tenant, resident living elsewhere but gas connections at both places in the same name etc. The advts in the papers and media reports added to the confusion and chaos. It is difficult to imagine how many people suffered on account of this mindless action from the concerned authorities without studying the pros and cons of taking such an action without any planning. The vagueness in the advt is very clear. Now it is the hot problem in their hands, how to solve the issue of finding the ghost ration cards which is also their own creation due lack of planning.
    The whole procedure should have been simplified through proper application of mind and issue guidelines to all Gas Distributors and give more time for the Public to follow up. There should not be a threat of disconnection of gas supply since it will put the public to lot of suffering and inconvenience . Will the Dept. now device a proper procedure to undo the chaos and work for the aim for which this step was taken ? I would like to know how far this RR No. will work as a Unique Identity Number to get the basic necessities from the Govt.

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