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Consumers warned against selling gas cylinders in open market

Companies say it is easy get the connection transferred online or via WhatsApp

Did you know that it is an offence to buy or sell empty cooking gas cylinders in the market? However, of late there have been reports of people trying to sell empty or even full cylinders belonging to State-run oil marketing companies via social media.

The reasons cited by the sellers vary from relocation to the need for cash.

When contacted, a consumer, who did not want to be named, said she wanted to sell the excess cylinder as “it occupies space in my house. We don’t have agencies from that company in our area. When we shifted to a new house we had to get a new connection,” she said.

Another consumer said he was moving to another city and hence wanted to get rid of the cylinder. A consumer in south Chennai said he was forced to sell the cylinder because he needed cash.

Gas distributors said such sale of cylinders was not allowed. “The oil companies give cylinders after taking a refundable deposit. Even if someone has lost the original bill or book, they can take it to any agency belonging to the oil company and fill a loss of voucher form and get back the refundable amount,” said a distributor.

Even if consumers moved from Bihar to Chennai and brought their cylinder along, they can apply online or on WhatsApp and get a paper transfer and show that transfer order to a nearby agency and get a reconnection. It is easy to change from one oil company to another, said another distributor.

Oil industry sources said: “Empty cylinders must be handed over to gas distribution agencies and not sold in the market. This could lead to the cylinders being used for illegal purposes.”

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