I just had an interesting and revealing conversation with a young lady who has moved to an apartment across the street. She came ringing my doorbell to ask me about my Gas cylinder agency. They are a young couple with a small child who have recently shifted from Jaipur. They are trying to get a gas connection which no agency is willing to entertain without a ration card. They do not possess a ration card ( nor do we, now that I come to think of it. We surrendered it as we were not buying anything from the ration shops) Ok, so they tried to apply for a ration card but were told that the authorities (Food and civil supplies Department) have stopped issuing new ration card! Desperate, they tried to talk to people who had got connections recently and found out that the agency could devise a way of letting them have a cylinder which would come at a price of 15k. This would be an unofficial connection which is usually that of a surrendered connection which has been “missed out ” to be registered in the books.
Another interesting suggestion she got was to negotiate with an auto driver and using his auto licence she could buy a cylinder from one of the agencies that supply cylinders to auto rickshaws.
I laughed at all these absurd suggestions and told her “there surely must be a straight forward way of applying and getting a connection even if it means some months’ wait!”
And she says, “No, The gas agency won’t entertain my application without a ration card, the government wont issue me a ration card.”
The website for government information on services claims that one can apply for a duplicate ration card and normally hope to receive the card within 30 days. But this girl claims that she cannot even get a form to apply.
Can anyone with recent experience throw more light on this? I have enough faith in the sytem to believe that there must be.