While the popularity, reach and success of the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) subsidy is yet to be established, the process to link the Aadhaar number with the LPG connection could make you run at least four times to the distributor and the photocopier shop in the vicinity.
I downloaded Form 2 from the website, filled in all particulars and went to my Bharatgas distributor on Friday morning. The staffer there first asked me to take a photocopy of my Aadhaar card with my photograph and paste it on the rectangular space provided in the form.
But the Aadhaar card is at least 3 cm longer than the length of the rectangle. When I asked the distributor suggest a solution, he said I could trim the copy at the top till the bar and at the bottom to get the right fit. In fact, I cut the copy into two sections and trimmed each of them to the extent possible so that I could squeeze it. I then submitted the pasted form after filling it up. That was when I was asked about my 17-digit LPG ID number. But the downloaded Bharatgas form does not have an entry asking for the LPG ID, while the IOC form does. So, I went to the nearest IOC outlet, where I found there was a shortage of forms. To overcome that, the IOC distributor asked each visitor to make two copies at the street corner shop – one for himself and the other for themselves.
After getting a copy, I trimmed and pasted the Aadhaar card copy in the rectangle. Since I did not have the 17-digit LPG ID, my distributor said I could enter my Consumer Book ID number, which just had 14 digits with 3 as prefix. Then I had doubts about the efficacy of the adhesive I used and worried over the possibility of the Aadhaar copy peeling off at a later date. To make it foolproof, I took permission from the distributor and went to the copier shop to take a photocopy of the filled-up form in which my Aadhaar card copy was pasted. By the time I returned, there was a queue. When my turn came, the distributor gave me an acknowledgement slip and keyed in my Aadhaar number in the database.
I came home thinking that my mission was accomplished. An hour later, I got an SMS giving me a 17-digit LPG ID and also reminding me that it was printed in my cash memo. I was told to quote this number for DBTL. I smelt trouble because it was different from my Consumer Book ID number even after the 3 prefix. So off I went to the distributor, filled up a new form, entered the 17-digit LPG ID, pasted the Aadhaar copy, took a photocopy of the filled-up form and submitted it. I hope at least now the ordeal is over.