Gas Trouble : Customers cheated with underfilled LPG cylinders

Government officials confirm what customers have always known

extracts

LPG raids confirm you pay full for half weight

Ambika Pandit | TNN


New Delhi: Here’s why LPG cylinders last less than they are supposed to. It’s because many weigh just a little over half their actual weight of 14.2 kilograms. This shocking confirmation came after raids on LPG agencies in the city.

To get the whip cracking, the government’s department of weights and measures is now exploring the option of filing FIRs against defaulters and do away with the challan of a mere Rs 3000 that had been levied so far.

In last week’s raids on authorised agencies in charge of delivering gas cylinders at 102 places across the Capital, cylinders weighed 30 to 40 percent less than the prescribed weight. The department had also issued 57 challans as prosecution. More raids are likely in the weeks ahead.
Senior officials say an analysis of the data on the raids reveals grave shortage in a number of cases. For instance, in case of 20 agencies it was found that the cylinders checked were short by over two kilograms.

The most glaring case was traced to one agency in Najafgarh where the LPG quantity was short by 7.6 kilograms, which is just little over half the total quantity that a cylinder must contain. At another agency at Burari the quantity was found to be short by 7.100 kilograms followed by a gas agency at Pushp Vihar Chowk in Saket where the LPG shortage ranged between five to seven kilograms.
Shortages were recorded at agencies in widely different areas like Kalkaji, Saket, Jamrudpur, Vikas Marg, Mayur Vihar, Shahdara, Janakpuri, Vikaspuri,Najafgarh and Burari.
As per norms, the net weight of a domestic LPG cylinder is 14.200 kilograms.

The weight is always printed on the gas cylinder, officials informed, asserting that the consumer must check all these details. ‘‘All consumers while receiving the cylinder from the representative of the LPG dealer should insist on getting the cylinder weighed in their presence. As per the second schedule of the Standards of Weights and Measures (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977, maximum permissible error on domestic LPG cylinder is +/- 150 grams.

The department has also issued instructions to all LPG dealers to issue verified weighing scales to all delivery men and instruct them to weigh the LPG cylinder before delivery to the consumers.

With the raids having revealed cases of such glaring shortages, the department is now exploring more stringent measures to rein in violators.

As of now a challan of Rs 3000 is issued as a prosecution measure. Officials feel this is not a deterrent enough and there is now talk of exploring the option of registering FIRs against offenders. A decision is yet to be taken.
ambika.pandit@timesgroup.com

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