On Wednesday the oil ministry had announced the scheme across 480 districts in the country covering all oil marketing companies and distributors. Consumers can switch to the distributor of their choice within a cluster of LPG distributors in the vicinity. “We have allocated the clusters covering the entire district and citizens can make the changes online,” said an oil company official. This initiative is expected to come as a relief to LPG consumers who are either unhappy with the services of their present distributor or want to opt for an LPG distributor close to their place.
After a pilot was rolled out last year in 24 districts, this year, 480 districts have been covered this year covering a population of over 8.2 crore LPG consumers across the country.
While Pune has 22 clusters, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have more than 1,400 cluster distributors in these areas with around four distributors per cluster to choose from. The details have been put up on their websites.
Customers can visit the websites of OMCs and register themselves. Consumers can then see the distributors in the cluster and their rating in terms of refill delivery performance and then select a distributor and submit a request. Subsequently, consumers will receive an email confirming registration and giving details of further procedures. In the case of inter-company transfer, that is between two different OMCs, since the LPG equipment is not compatible across companies, the consumer will have to visit the present distributor and surrender the cylinder and pressure regulator, collect the refund/transfer documents and then approach the distributor of his/her choice for reconnection by paying the same deposit as earlier. No transfer fee or additional security deposit will be charged for transfer of connection under the portability scheme.
The success of the scheme lies in giving consumers the freedom to change distributors or oil company, which forces the distributor and oil company to perform, said a press release issued by the oil ministry. In the state, Ahmednager, Akola, Amravati, Beed, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Latur, Nagpur, Nanded, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Parbhani, Pune, Raigad, Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Thane, Thane city, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal have been included in the first phase.