Published: Thursday, Feb 14, 2013, 6:31 IST
The state government has red-flagged the Union petroleum and natural gas ministry’s plan to launch the Aadhaar-linked liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy project in Mumbai. It has pointed out that this has caused panic among consumers and could lead to a law-and-order problem in the city.
State officials said that although the ministry had asked consumers to provide Aadhaar numbers to LPG dealers by March 15, failing which they might have to buy cylinders at market prices, this was not feasible as just 60 per cent of Mumbai’s 1.25crore population has been covered.
The state has said it will complete maximum enrolment by December 2013, following which it would be in a better position to roll out large-scale Aadhaar-linked services.
Across the state, only 45.7% of the 11.23 crore population has enrolled for Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) cards. The Centre has rolled out the direct benefit transfer scheme in Mumbai city district and Mumbai suburban district, Pune, Wardha, Amravati and Nandurbar.
In a recent letter to Dr Neeraj Mittal, joint secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas, state information technology secretary Rajesh Aggarwal pointed out that the announcement has “created a panic-like situation in the city, especially among the middle class… resulting in huge queues at Aadhaar enrolment centres and a potential law and order concern in the city”.
“This is an issue that touches almost every household. It is tough to make it compulsory unless the enrolment reaches an 80%- 90 % range,” an official admitted.
“Advertisements released by [the] ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Government of India, have completely disturbed the Aadhaar enrolment ecosystem in the state, especially in Mumbai.
We would request you to reconsider the timelines for implementation of Aadhaar-linked LPG subsidy and withdrawal of the advertisement campaign, which in turn would help us in conducting the Aadhaar enrolment in a smooth, systematic manner and would be beneficial to the residents,” the letter added, while stating that the linkage would be a “workable idea” only in Wardha, which has maximum UIDAI coverage in Maharashtra at 83.6%.
President of All India LPG Distributors Federation, Pratap Doshi, said that Aadhaar could not become sacrosanct.
“Lots of customers have not received their Aadhaar cards,” said Doshi, adding that panicky consumers were crowding showrooms of LPG distributors. Mumbai has 25 lakh LPG consumers.
Gorakh Avhad of the Rationing Kruti Samiti too demanded that the Centre not rush into the implementation of the plan.
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