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Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Gas Connection and The Rent Agreement

So I’m back in India, great. I love my country and I have often been homesick and longed to be back here among my own people. This post is by no means to make fun of or ridicule any person but rather to raise the issue of how inefficient certain people or agencies can be.

I enjoyed the first few weeks in my hometown with my family before I shifted to Pune. Since I had already lived in Pune for five years, I thought “Ok..settling down here again is a piece of cake ! All I need is a rented flat (a family friend had already arranged a furnished one), the shifting of my domestic gas connection, a decent internet connection, and the regular services of a maid, a laundry guy, the newspaper vendor etc. etc.”
So dear reader, it all sounds easy enough right ? Wrong !!

Hubby and I head out to the gas agency. After a 20 minute wait we get our chance to talk to a guy who politely says “ aage waale counter pe jaiye”. We go to the next counter and wait for another 20 minutes for our turn whereupon we hand over the transfer papers. The lady gives a very bored expression and asks where we are coming from. We reply, thinking “OK, finally it’s going to be done now”. The lady asks us for an address proof, an ID proof and 2 photographs. We are not in luck it seems. We have the ID proof (our passports) but we have yet to receive the rent agreement from the legal firm.

We call the legal firm where our call is transferred, kept on hold for almost 15 minutes after which we are informed that they will give the copy of the rent agreement only if the owner authorizes it ! We explain that the owner is abroad and we do not need the original, we just need a copy and we have a right to it, but our appeal falls on deaf ears. Frantic calls from our end are made to a relative of the owner who has been authorized in the matter, who in turn calls the legal firm. Finally they call and inform us that we should visit their firm and collect the copy. I blurt out in desperation “but your office is like 35 Kms. away ! could you not email it to us please ?”. But they remain adamant that we visit. We spend 1200 Rs. on a cab and finally get the address proof.

We go back to the gas agency with victorious expressions and hand over the documents. The lady takes out a blank form and informs us “ Ye form bhar do aur sath main ek 100 Rs ka affidavit bhi de do along with the documents.” WHAT ?? An affidavit ???

We ask some friends regarding this matter and they suggest we visit the court premises. We travel another 22 Kms and pay more cab fare. There we see some guys sitting out with typewriters. We approach them and they say they will charge 350 Rs for typing the whole thing. We agree. We get the affidavit and head back to the gas agency. Finally the documents are accepted and we are informed that we will get the gas cylinder in 4-5 days. We come out dead tired but happy regardless.

A guy standing outside who had been observing us coming and going takes a look at us and asks “kahan se shift hoke aaye ho sahib ?”
“Oman se” hubby replies.
“Tabhi itna ghoome…800-1000 Rs. kisi ko diye hote toh kaam yu hi ho jata..”
We are stumped !!!


  1. Looks like there is no respite for the common man. The way the scenes are being created that one will be forced to give bribe, no other way!! But whom to blame? Every body is involved... The attitude has to be changed, that is the only option.

  2. heheheh...welcome! the reality!! I faced this all the time.. the gas connection!! It is the biggest task done when one shifts from one city to other...and hate to recall those experiences- jodhpur to chandigarh...then chandigarh to delhi....then delhi to jodhpur....again back to gurgaon....and each time, it was a painful experience. hahaha..and once, they refuse to honour the lease deeed, saying it was on a Rs 5 stamp paper, and they need one on Rs 100 stamp paper...hahaha...what an irony...hope, you get it done smoothly...

  3. Some situations never do change!
    And as we say "It only happens in India".

  4. @ aamjunta - I agree with you :)

    @ bhasaji - finally have it transferred now but yes like you said it was a very tiring process ! :)

    @ Karan Sampat - Yes it only happens here. I lived at Salalah prior to this and the only document ever required was a copy of the resident card. Be it the opening of a new bank account, or renting a place or getting internet/phone connections etc etc.

  5. Now this is India...And that's why it is still developing..No one seems to care for anyone here and everyone is just immersed in itself...

    The way you met all the trouble is a common scene here and still we people have the attitude "India mein Chalta hai" and we proudly say "Mera Bharat Mahan"

  6. Oops . Renu, welcome to india. ;)

  7. Experiences like these are not so rare in India. As silly as it may sound but I have found a guy, who calls himself 'agent',this guy can get any work of yours done if it involves the government offices.When I asked him how, he smiled and said "I know people who know people". So yeah now that i know the agent, i know the people involved. Well its any day better than leaving your work and running around the city with no clue whatsoever of you are doing. :)

  8. I am happy at least you got it done in one day... think of people who hardly get one day off and have to do thousand other things and this agencies asking for so many docs... seriously it need to change

  9. @ juzta mum - yes its a sorry state of affairs :)

    @ Harsha - I guess its this so called "chalta hai" attitude that needs to change if we really want things to improve :)

    @ Ritesh Agarwal - Thanks !! :)

    @ Satyadeep - Maybe you're right :)

  10. @ shushant mojumdar - I can understand what you can be really tiring and annoying :(

  11. I tried to get one address proof for our own house (registered in the name of my dad, though) since I returned from another city and it took a couple of years! You are LUCKY. In comparison.

  12. This is my first time visit here. From the tons of comments on your articles,I guess I am not only one having all the enjoyment right here! Silver service Taxi