Bangalore, Oct 6 : Karnataka government eliminated over 17 lakh bogus LPG connections through a simple method of linking LPG consumer numbers to their electricity meter numbers, claims the state Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevaraj.
There were few people who complained about stoppage of LPG supply upon being detected of having more than one connection, reports The Hindu.
Even as the Centre has decided to limit subsidised LPG cylinders to six per year, the Karnataka government has pointed out that it had written three letters to Petroleum Minister S Jaipal reddy in March, April and May this year highlighting the success of the anti-bogus connection drive.
However, none of these letters elicited response from Reddy, D.N. Jeevaraj SAID.
Jeevaraj said if the centre had adopted the Karnataka model pan-India, it would have substantially brought down the number of illegal domestic connections.
"We have detected over 17 lakh illegal connections in Karnataka alone; the figures would have been in several crores across India," he said.
Asked why stopping of domestic LPG cylinder supply to bogus connections was discontinued, Jeevaraj said, "We did not want the curbs in Karnataka alone."
In her letter dated April 9, 2012, Shobha Karandlaje, the then Food Minister and presently Minister for Power, told Reddy that linking of RR Number with LPG consumer number proved beyond doubt that the exercise embarked upon by the state government was something unique, effective and efficient method to identify illegal and unlawful connections.
It would be wrong to assume that such illegal connections exist only in Karnataka; similar misuse of domestic LPG cylinders should be going on in other states.
If similar exercise is undertaken in all the states, large scale misuse of domestic cylinders could be curbed, she said.
Karandlaje said, "But this calls for a National policy. I therefore request you to evolve an action plan at the national level to implement similar exercises in all the states of the country."
This exercise, she said, was a corollary to Department’s effort to set up a ration card database and online processing system with the active support of National Informatics Centre (NIC).
The outcome of the effort was a robust database comprising of ration cards, LPG consumers, electricity meter data and property tax data (in rural areas).
Even the public sector oil marketing companies in Karnataka did not have such a database, the Minister said.
She said while asking consumers to upload RR numbers, the Department was aware that all households did not have electricity supply; more than one household may be availing supply from one electricity meter; and many households may lawfully be using power from non-domestic electricity meters. These issues were addressed through physical verification of consumers’ premises, she said.