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. 

* * *

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.

* * *

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. 

* * *

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