Monday, January 17, 2011

Gas refilling issues - Knowledge of RTI resolves them

We received the following testimonial to the power and effectiveness of RTI from citizens who discovered RTI via Sanjeevani’s campaigns. Our activists are thrilled that their efforts to take RTI to the people are bearing fruit. Even more, they are genuinely happy to hear of the concrete ways in which it has provided relief to common citizens.

Yes, RTI really works. Imagine the day when citizens will commonly use RTI, as a matter of fact. Like posting a letter. Like sending email. We believe that such a day is not far away.

Mr. Chandra Sekhar(Admin,West AP Region,Bajaj Allianz) has a cooking gas connection from BPCL. Every time he had to request for a cylinder refill, the local dealer said that he had to wait for 21 days after the previous delivery. The cylinder was then delivered 14 days after filing the request. He had applied for a refill on 7th Nov, 2010 but did not receive the cylinder even by 24th Nov. In spite of repeated requests and complaints about the poor services, the dealer did not make any effort to improve the situation.

Coming to know about the Right to Information Act, this time, he decided to try using it to resolve his issue. He called the BPCL Head office, explained his problem to them, and warned that if it was not resolved immediately, he would file an RTI complaint against the dealer. To his surprise, he received a call from the dealer within 5 minutes after which the cylinder was delivered within 45 minutes. Mr. Chandra Sekhar estimates that the dealer had acted almost immediately since the dealer’s office is about 13 kms away from his house.

He then received a call from the BPCL Head office asking him about the quality of the dealer’s services and the details of his case. The BPCL manager explained to him that the dealer is supposed to take a refill request after 48 hours of delivering a cylinder and deliver it within 24 hours of filing the request. He urged Mr. Chandra Sekhar to contact him directly in case of problems in the future and assured him of a prompt response.

Mr. Chandra Sekhar was not only surprised by the swift action by the dealer but also that he was informed about the correct procedure to secure a cylinder and assurance that any further issues will be taken care of. He feels empowered by the RTI Act and is thankful to Mr. Abdul Azeez and Mr. Ganji Srinivas (Lok Satta Sanjeevani team members) in helping him in this regard.

Text: Santoshi Pattem

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