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Commercial consumers protest SMS gas billing and online payments in Tripura


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, July 29, 2023. The commercial gas users expressed their anger against the Tripura Natural Gas Company Limited (TNGCL) for its decision to send gas bills via SMS on mobile phones and directed consumers to pay their bills online within three days.

Members of the All Tripura Commercial Gas Consumers Association gathered at the TNGCL office located in Lichu Bagan to submit a delegation. However, as they were denied an audience with the authorities, the protesters joined the demonstration. They voiced their grievances, stating that 80 percent of small-scale businessmen do not have access to online payment facilities or smartphones. Nevertheless, the TNGCL has decided to inform all businesses individually about the online bill payment system and demand payment within three days.

Earlier, the TNGCL had assured the consumers that decisions would be taken after consulting with them. However, recent developments have shown that their promise was merely a pretense. The protesters alleged that they are burdened with excessive billing every month, with the bills being triple the actual amount. They have discussed the matter with the Industry Minister and plan to meet with the Chief Minister in the coming days. If the issue is not resolved promptly, all businessmen in Agartala and Agartala City Centre will unite and go on a three-day strike. If the problem persists, they will be forced to launch an indefinite agitation, as announced by the astute protesters on Wednesday.

To seek permission for the delegation, they reached the MD’s office, but to no avail. The delegation leader, Prantosh Das, claimed that even after speaking on the phone, they were not allowed to submit the delegation. Subsequently, the entire delegation, including MD and Deputy MD, left the office empty-handed.

The ongoing protest will be closely monitored for further developments.

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