Agencies fear ‘law and order situation’ over connection blockages; likely to seek police protection on December 1
Even as oil companies have set a November 30 deadline for LPG customers to for submit know-your-customer (KYC) forms — for those having incomplete address and more than one gas connection — the response has been poor. Gas agencies are fearing a huge rush on the last four days. The agencies are planning to request police protection on that day, anticipating untoward incidents such as stone-pelting.
“With poor response from customers, they will run the risk of having their connection completely blocked after the deadline and a law and order situation is likely to arise on December 1. We are contemplating seeking police protection,” said Usha Poonawalla, state president, Maharashtra LPG dealers association. She said despite several notices from the gas agencies through various forms of media, the response is poor.
“Of the 6,655 connections which were under scrutiny, only 278 customers have filled up KYC forms,” said Poonawalla from her own gas agency —Pragati Enterprises on Alandi Road.
All three state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) — Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation —had asked the domestic LPG distributors to collect and verify duly-filled KYC forms from theconsumers.
Agencies have said the dates were changed four times — October 15, October 31, November 15 and finally November 30. “There was enough time for the customers to respond, but people have been sluggish,” points out a gas agency dealer in Kothrud. Having a branch in the rural area of Mulshi too, the agency dealer adds that she fears stone pelting incidents in the area as some customers had warned her against cancelling their connections. We have spoken to the representatives and have demanded police protection for our staff,” said the agency dealer.
Another dealer in Kondhwa says, “Even after putting up huge boards saying the KYC is for blocked connections as well as multiple addresses, people with single connections are still lining up and creating a huge rush at the agency,” he said.
Another agency added that with hardly 15-20 KYC forms having come in, it fears a blockage of nearly 10,000 connections in the area.
“This will further create chaos as people have not come in to fill their forms. We had even our people going door-to-door with the forms,” she adds.
The KYC forms will encapsulate personal details like names and address and