Monday, February 14, 2011

Indane

Indane is a great Indian company which sells LPG cylinders. Indane considers itself to be God's gift to Indians and makes sure you treat it with respect. After you register for a new connection with them, you wait, wait, wait and continue waiting till it generously decides to bestow a new connection to your name. Oh, the connection is not free or anything, of course, you have to pay for it. That way you can pay and feel extremely grateful for getting something you paid for too. Win-win all the way.

Among the other rules for getting a gas connection, is the rule that you should not have any other gas cylinder in house when procuring a connection. So essentially, when you wait, wait, wait, wait and continue to wait, you are expected to subsist with either wood-stoves or induction stoves or just keep buying your food from hotels. Since most people are not insane (wood stoves are too smoky, induction-stoves - haha, with the highly reliable electricity available here, you are kidding, right?, hotels would be too expensive and unhealthy), they borrow gas cylinders from kindhearted friends or relatives while they wait for the new connection to appear.

We applied for our LPG connection in August last year. After months of telling us they were processing our application, we finally got approval in the first week of February this year. Yaay, we got it in just 7 months - aren't we extra blessed or what? Right during the application process, S told the gas agency folks that we had a borrowed connection with a borrowed regulator due to the long drawn-out process of getting a new connection. Shouldn't be a problem, S was told.

Two days ago, a gas inspector came over to our place. Not for inspecting that the kitchen is well-ventilated or that the gas cylinder would be kept in a safe place. No siree - that would actually make the inspection useful.Turns out, his only job was to make sure that there was no other gas connection in the house.

Since I had no intention of dragging the borrowed cylinder and hiding it under the bed as soon as I saw the gas-inspector at the door, the inspector saw the borrowed cylinder in all its glory. The inspector then magnanimously told me that he would not report the existence of the other cylinder so we could get our own connection. I could not believe how he could shamelessly declare that while Indane took its own sweet time to grant us a connection, we are not supposed to have any alternatives. However, I did not say anything. In retrospect, this was apparently a mistake*.

Today I call up the Indane gas-agency asking what happened to our first cylinder which was supposed to have been delivered hours after the gas-inspection took place. Then we got the news.

After seven months of making us wait, the Indane Gods had gotten angry with us. Since we had a gas cylinder in the house, they had decided to cancel our application.

But I totally get it - how dare we mere mortals use borrowed LPG till the Indane Gods decided our time to use a LPG cylinder had come? Stupid, stupid mortals! When you are registered with Indane, till Indane says so, you don't get to use LPG. And hear ye mortal, Indane shalt make you repent your presumptuous folly. No LPG connection for you!

Thus, as of today, we are no longer in line for receiving our own LPG connection from Indane.

All this is happening in a the country which is aiming to become a future superpower. Bless its little heart.

p.s. BTW, the name of the gas-agency is Kalarani and it is located in Mylapore. Just letting you know so you know upfront what you are facing in case you get cursed and get assigned to them!

* When S went to the gas agency, he said the employees there actually hinted something like we had not grovelled enough for the connection. I guess I should have shed copious tears of gratitude and kissed the gas-inspector's feet when he magnanimously said he would not report the borrowed cylinder. Totally my fault.

14 comments:

SK said...

Oh my!! 7 months to get a gas connection! Can you try to use RTI and lodge a complaint? What are your parents saying? Sucks.
Years and years of corruption cannot change overnight, small steps are being taken, hopefully things will change for the better in the coming years.

Archana said...

SK - Just do a search on Google with the search terms "Indane Sucks". I did and realized complaining is to no avail :-). My parents got their gas connection a year after registering when they first got married. I am totally thrilled that after 34 odd years, we are (not) getting it in just 7 months. Amazing progress, huh?

Anonymous said...

Money talks in India!

Saumya said...

Do you think the gas inspector was expecting a bribe? This is insane!

Aren't there any private gas agencies you can use?

Feel your pain/....

Archana said...

Anon, Saumya - I have no idea if he expected a bribe - as in there were no classic signs like the "asadu" smile and the scratching of the head. Maybe bribe indicators have changed ...

We are looking into other options now. Let's see how that goes!

Anita said...

You totally did not get it. He was expecting a 'tip'. That is the unsaid, golden rule for every public utility connection you want. Which is a super shame indeed. But thank God, we have progressed from the days of having no other choice.

binaryfootprints said...

AHHH!!! I just went and registered for mine...they said it would take only 2-4 months....all this after rejecting almost every document we had as proof. I wanted to tell him, if I walk up and down a few more times and waited for a few more months..he can have my death certificate as proof..but figured, I can't have it registered under my name then..so we walk and wait some more...bah

Reflections said...

Oh Archana, this is not brutal, I didn't realize it was this bad. I don't remember how we got our first gas, I suppose my parents would have been frustrated to a great extent added to the fact that my father was a true "Indian" like the Indian movie Kamal thaatha, honesty, no bribes etc..
Even though your post was thought provoking, I really hoped that you would end the post with a positive note that you received your gas connection or cylinder.
I really liked your last line which stated- This country is boasting that it is in league with super power- when it can't even power its most honorable citizen.

Reflections said...

Also, Can you please provide the permission to share your story with my friends.

I think people should know about this pain!

Archana said...

Sindu - maybe he was! Maybe a bribe is so commonplace for these people that the gas-inspector was offended that I did not voluntarily offer him one for performing his job! Yeah, I am so glad there are other choices now!

Binary - I sincerely hope you have much better luck than us. The best part is you can yell/plead/threaten and use all the sarcasm you want - it simply rolls off these folks. I guess the only thing which reaches out is money. BTW, just so you are prepared, we were told we would receive the connection in 15 days when we first applied!!

Reflections - please spread the story as far and as wide as you want to. I think Indane's fame deserves spreading.
p.s. and I am India's most honorable citizen? That's neat :-D.

vishesh said...

think you were expected to 'tip' him :)

You learn wisdom, patience and other such wonderful things here :)

Archana said...

Vishesh - adhaan ellarum solraanga!

Rajesh said...

Or what you should have done to the Magnanimous inspector who visited your home and declared that he wouldnt report - *etho pathu senju kudunga sir* and some cash should have sorted out the aspect... You seemingly have made a mistake by not sensing and returning the advance magnanimity shown by the officer...;)

Rajesh said...

other option as far as I know is SPIC and HP give pretty fast gas connections...you can give it a try!

-Rajesh