State firms release 53 lkh LPG connections; 4.31 lkh waiting

State firms release 53 lkh LPG connections; 4.31 lkh waiting New Delhi: State-owned oil firms have released close to 53 lakh new cooking gas (LPG) connections during five months to February 2013 but there still exists a waiting list of over 4.31 lakh, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said Friday.

The waiting list of 431,856 as on March 1 "is expected to be liquidated by April," he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha here.

Public sector oil marketing companies, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) are processing new LPG connections as per the policy and releasing them as per demand, he said.

Moily said that of the 52,93,485 new LPG connections released during October 2012 to February 2013, the maximum 7.44 lakh were in Uttar Pradesh. This was followed by Andhra Pradesh (7 lakh), Maharashtra (5.38 lakh), Tamil Nadu (4.86 lakh), West Bengal (3.69 lakh), Bihar (3.12 lakh) and Rajasthan (3.03 lakh).

Of the total new gas connections released in the five months, 30.38 lakh were for consumers in urban areas and remaining 22.54 lakh for rural users.

To extend LPG coverage, 2,676 cooking gas distributors have been appointed during last three years. The maximum number of 384 distributors have been appointed in the nation's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. 308 distributors were appointed in Andhra Pradesh.

"Oil marketing companies have reported that they have detected 14 established cases of non issuing LPG connections by LPG distributors during last three years and the period from April-December 2012. In all established cases action is taken against the erring LPG distributors through issue of warning/imposition of penalty," Moily said.

PTI