Days after huge discrepancies were detected in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjala Yojana in Pulwama, the authorities Tuesday sealed 90 LPG outlets in this south Kashmir district and registered a case against three gas agencies.
The district authorities ordered an enquiry last week following the complaints of fraud and discrepancies in the PM’s Ujwala Yojna scheme which provides free gas connection and ration to below poverty level (BPL) families. Later, a team having officials of Revenue and Food and Supplies Department was constituted to look into the matter.
“The preliminary investigation by the team revealed that the gas agencies were involved in fraud and discrepancies,” an official told Greater Kashmir.
The authorities also lodged FIR against three gas agencies and sealed most of the outlets of LPG (cooking gas), he said.
The Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Assistant Director for Pulwama, Anayatullah told Greater Kashmir that the gas agency owners informed the investigating team that free connections were distributed among around 58,000 deserving families under the scheme. However, when the team contacted many of the beneficiaries, the claim of the agencies proved false, he said.
“We initially talked to around 200 beneficiaries of the scheme but most of them either had not received any free connection. Those who had received it had got it after bribing the dealers,” Anayatullah said.
The Assistant Director said that on the directions of DC Pulwama, an FIR was lodged against three gas agencies and around 90 outlets in the district were sealed.
He, however, said that in order to investigate the matter thoroughly, the case has been handed over to police.
Meanwhile, the action against the dealers evoked concern among consumers who feel the move would lead to shortage of gas cylinders in their areas.
“I could not get the gas as the shop was sealed,” Ali Muhammad, a resident of Rangmullah village, said. “It will only add to our miseries amid such a harsh winter.”
Allaying the people’s concern, the officials told Greater Kashmir that the home delivery of LPG cylinders has been restarted in the district.