All resident bodies of NCR and Noida have demanded a rollback of the fixed minimum charges being imposed by the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) on Piped Natural Gas (PNG) connections.
Earlier, IGL charged consumers based only on usage but in bills received after October 2015, IGL has imposed a fixed minimum charge equivalent to that of 4 standard cubic metre of gas in the bill.
PS Jain, president of Confederation of NCR Resident Welfare Association (CONRWA), wrote to IGL demanding a rollback. “This move is unfair to the consumer, as he will have to shell out Rs 150 every two months even if he has not used PNG,” Jain said. “IGL charged every household Rs 6,000 when it got the pipelines installed in residential areas three years ago. But now, without informing consumers, it has imposed a fixed minimum charge on them. If there has been a change in the IGL policy, consumers should have been notified in advance.”
Federation of Noida RWAs (FONRWA) has also written to IGL demanding an immediate cancellation of the minimum charges. President NP Singh said he had received complaints from several residents in Noida.
General secretary of the Sector 19 RWA, RC Gupta, told City Spidey, “At the time of giving the gas connection, IGL had promised that it would not levy any extra charge — and it didn't so far. But the last bill I received mentioned that consumers will have to pay for at least for 4 standard cubic metre, even if they have not used PNG at all.”
An official at the corporate office of IGL said that the charges levied are not in violation of any terms and conditions. He added that IGL has been providing consumers other services as well, which include fixing damaged pipelines, customer care and complaint redressal, and in the light of these, the charges are justified. “These minimum charges have not only been levied in Noida, but in Delhi and Ghaziabad as well. And it is not just IGL that is charging, but all piped natural gas-supplying companies in the country.”
IGL is a joint venture by the Central Government's public-sector undertakings — Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Government of NCT of Delhi.
There are as many as 6.25 lakh PNG connections across the NCR. According to IGL, it covers entire sectors of Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Delhi.
Interview of RC Gupta, RWA general secretary, Sector 19, Noida