Gas subsidy creates problems for Dehradun residents

Dehradun : Come June and a vast majority of the residents of Dehradun district in Uttarakhand will be deprived of getting the subsidy on LPG cylinders, as from the beginning of the month the central government has decided to give the subsidy directly to the beneficiaries in their bank accounts.

However, this will only be possible if the consumers have the ‘Aadhar cards’ on which every individual gets a 12-digit unique number, as the card numbers will be linked with the bank accounts of the gas connection holders and the subsidy money will be sent directly to the banks.

But the catch is that it is only a miniscule majority of the population of the district that have the ‘Aadhar cards’. According to official figures of the over 3.22 lakh families in the district just b6396 have the ‘Aadhar cards’, whereas the others do not.

A majority of the people that Hill Post talked to were unaware of the fact that they will be deprived of the subsidized gas cylinders from June as they do not have the ‘Aadhar cards’. Most of them were of the view that the state and central governments should have publicized the fact and started issuing the cards afresh.

It may be mentioned here that the ‘Aadhar cards’ were stopped being issued over one and a half years back and the long queues for making the cards were a deterrent to most of the people. Besides the counters for issuing the cards were just at a handful of places causing a lot of inconvenience.

Now with the people coming to know that they could be deprived of the subsidized cylinders, most of them are running from pillar to post in a bid to get the ‘Aadhar cards’. However, the district authorities claim that they are helpless in the matter and are directing the people to the company which was making the cards, but there is no response from them.

However, the state food and civil supplies minister, Pritam Singh said that the issue had serious complications as the majority of the residents of the state capital would be deprived of what is their legal due. We will be calling a meeting of the officials to see what can be done in the matter and if required the chief minister will be asked to take up the issue with the centre.

Meanwhile the general opinion is that if the central government is serious in implementing its new scheme of depositing the gas cylinder subsidy in bank accounts than a serious drive should be started for issuing ‘Aadhar cards’ to the people in the various localities and not at a handful of hand picked places.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

2 Comments

  • I have been running from pillar to post trying to find out from where i could get an adhaar card in dehra dun for the last six months but to no vail. Nobody knows and nobody (govt staff) assist. Sad place is dehra dun

  • Let this government be voted out for imposing the bank account/aadhar and related problems with bank accounts upon the people, just like the previous government was voted out. Let them never come to power again. Let there be the simple process.

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