As per earlier the Gas Cylinder Rules ,2004, the district authority was not defined and NOCs were obtained by prospective distributors from various local authorities including sarpanch, gram panchayat and village development officer, among others.
To ensure that all the 73% of the households across the country having liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections are serviced and new consumers are added at a brisk pace, the central government has issued guidelines to district authorities to take a decision of either providing or rejecting no-objection certificates for prospective distributors within a month after receiving applications.
The ministry of commerce and industry has, through a November, 2016 notification, made it mandatory for distributorship applicants to obtain NOCs for LPG godown site plans from a defined district authority or district magistrate prior to applying for construction of godown approval to the Petroleum and Safety Organisation (PESO) under the Gas Cylinder Rules, 2016. However, obtaining an NOC from the district authority has become a long-drawn process, as at least 11 line departments are being consulted before the issuance of an NOC. The decision to involve district authorities was taken as PESO does not have the wherewithal to verify land rights and public safety norms.
As per earlier the Gas Cylinder Rules ,2004, the district authority was not defined and NOCs were obtained by prospective distributors from various local authorities including sarpanch, gram panchayat and village development officer, among others. However, these were leading to litigation, especially relating to land possession.
The commerce ministry’s notification is turning out to be a hurdle for plans to ramp up the distributor network. Taking cognisance of the situation, the petroleum ministry wrote to the commerce ministry to reconsider the notice issued by the latter as it may delay commissioning of new LPG distributorship, given OMCs’ plan to reamp up the existing network by 6,000-8,000 in coming few years.