HYDERABAD: After much mulling and mooting, LPG consumers in the city are being given the "EZY Gas Cards" with unique number and seeded with customer's bank accounts. As on today, as many as 85,000 consumers in Gachibowli, Srinagar colony and Jubilee hills areas are provided with these cards this month.
While idea was to eliminate the menace of gas supply boys insisting on extra money while delivering cylinders and also avoid time-taken in transferring the money to the LPG company, with a single swipe of the card, things on ground do not appear so smooth. Though a one-time cost of Rs 24 was fixed for collecting the card, customers across the city are being forced to pay anything between Rs 100 and Rs 150.
Another advantage of the card cited was with respect to subsidy. With payment being made to the LPG company at the time of delivery of cylinder itself, customers are supposed to get their LPG subsidy in a day or two. As of now, several customers Express spoke to, said that neither the subsidy has been credited into their bank accounts this month, nor the delivery boys have stopped collecting extra money for delivery. Customers say, delivery boys are diverting cylinders to commercial business persons if they refuse to pay the extra money.
"To all our consumers we are issuing EZY gas cards with 12-digit unique number seeded to their bank accounts. We are not charging more than Rs 24. If delivery boys are collecting up Rs 150, we will inquire into it," said P C Naidu, managing director, Sandeepthi gas agency, Srinagar colony, when this correspondent brought the matter to his attention. The same was found across dealers shops in Gachibowli, Srinagar colony and Jubillee hills. Dealers, when contacted, claim ignorance and blame cylinder delivery boys.
A resident of Manikonda, K Lakshmi, said she too paid Rs 150 for the smart card. "We dont know why we have to buy this card from agency or what are its benefits. The delivery boys are still collecting Rs 30 to Rs 50 more money for each cylinder here," said Lakshmi, homemaker.
At Krishna Nagar in Banjara Hills, another vexed cusotmer A Kavya Sree said that she has not received her LPG subsidy in the last six months. "I have linked my Aadhaar to bank account and LPG agency in Srinagar colony. But when I ask them about subsidy, they tell me about new rules and regulations," she said.
HPCL's senior regional manager (Hyderabad) Rohit Garg, when contacted, blamed the banks for delay in credit of LPG subsidy into customer's account. "Banks have to update know your customer(KYC) details of the customers which is why there is a delay," he said, adding that EZY gas card would ensure no cylinders are diverted into black market and payments are prompt.
He said that with one swipe of the card at the time of gas cylinder's delivery, the exact amount would be deducted directly from the bank account of the consumer and the subsidy amount will add in their saving bank account which is linked to gas subsidy. Consumer will also get a message on their mobile phones," he explained. "The smart card price is Rs.24, if anyone collecting more than that consumers can raise the complaint on Tollfree number," he added. The toll free number for HP gas is 1800-2333-555.
What is EZY gas card:
LPG consumers are given smart cards, like an ATM card. Customers can swipe their card with the swiping machine available with gas delivery boys, and complete the transaction. The cost of gas cylinder will be directly deducted from customer's bank account and the LPG subsidy will be credited there after. In Hyderabad, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has initiated the process in Gachibowli, Srinagar Colony and Jubilee Hills.
Consumers with EZY gas card:
# Srinagar colony - 35,000 consumers
# Jubilee Hills - 20,000 consumers
# Gachibowli - 30,000 consumers