Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PAUPER’S LOG: Mango People in Banana Republic

LOA Vol 36 - Issue - 02 - 15 Oct 2012
Mango People in Banana Republic

By Abu Arsh

When the First Son-in-Law of the Nation -Robert Vadra posted these remarks on his facebook status message, it created a lot of furore in the political circles over reference to the Aam Aadmi as Mango People. Some of the recent decisions of the UPA-II government have made these remarks sound true. Politicians do consider us nothing more than that and we do live in a Banana Republic. As and when new declarations are made by the Government the Aam Aadmi is made to run from pillar to post just to meet his basic requirements all over again.
The most recent lifting of subsidies on LPG and limiting it to 6 cylinders per family per year which fortunately got increased to 9 cylinders by our Administrator like in the Congress ruled states has set us all in a spin. Household budgets have gone haywire with constant and periodic increase in fuel prices and essential commodities. Our islands are known to pay the brunt for these issues as we import every essential commodity from mainland at already exorbitant prices.
Coupled with these the harassment meted out to the Aam Aadmi is many fold. The distributors of LPG are having a field day with the amount of hassles a LPG subscriber has to go through in getting their connections re-verified in order to avoid duplicity. Forms are to be filled again. Mile long queues are formed braving the heat and the rain with people trampling over each other. There is a mad rush where joint families are on the verge of being divided by separating the ration cards of sons and daughters from their parents in order to avail an extra connection. Another long queue awaits us at the Civil Supplies Department enabling us to separate from our parents to avail an LPG connection. If the government can go about creating such new exercises where the misery of Mango people never ends, why can't it have a simpler method of ascertaining the genuine connections rather same old forms and queues? There have been half a dozen multimillion rupees exercises by the Govt. of India as in the case of NPR's and Aadhars bothering us no end time and again. These exercises should have taken care of such information which can be updated.
The LPG story has made the black marketers have a field day too. If one has the money procuring a cylinder without any document is as easy as it comes. The market for a LPG cylinder in the black market post lifting of cap on subsidy scenario has made a quantum leap from Rs 650 to Rs 1300. The major distributors of LPG in the Islands have staffs who are masters of this trade since ages and there is no fuss involved here except extra cash. Some of the booking procedures if it involves standing in long queues to book a cylinder would as well make the above proposition more lucrative to a consumer as its door delivered.
Administration in its endeavour should make arrangements for processes which are simpler and less complicated; it also should not be repetitive and less time consuming. Further more if the Govts are concerned about preventing duplicity and fake connections it should also stop all pilferages and black marketing by hoarders.  

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