Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela



B/90, Sector-7, ROURKELA-769003.    Orissa.  India 


Creating Consumer Awareness

The Council strongly believes that only an aware consumer can protect his rights.Towards this the Council has been making sincere efforts ever since it was formed.

·In the first stage since the Council had very limited resources at its disposal and also limited knowledge, it just managed to bring out cyclostyled monthly bulletins which contained the minimum prices of certain standard commodities available in the local market, since as per the then existing laws the total price printed on thewrapper was excluding the local taxes.

·In India the commercial tax system is so much complicated that it is beyond anybody’s capacity to remember the tax rates applicable to various items,which resulted in the trader charging abnormal rates, those days.The bulletin thus started in 1986 served two purposes:

·to inform and educate the consumer about the lowest prevailing price in the market so that he could guard himself against excess charging by the traders.

·to maintain a communication channel with the consumers and to keep reminding them about the Consumer Protection movement.

·In the 2nd stage, theCouncil started circulating various information, other than prices through cyclostyled bulletins in English as well as Oriya, commencing from January 1988

·After the Council sustained its crusade for over a couple of years it also started organising talks and interactions with eminent and important people so that the consumers at large could get a first hand knowledge from these people and also get their doubts clarified, if any, pertaining to their day to day life.

·Having maintained its activities in a low key during the first couple of years or so, to make its presence felt the Council launched its monthly “ADVANTAGE CONSUMER”,in January 1989.This initiative of the Council has been well received among the consumers and the consumer activists.   Already  135 issues of this consumer monthly have been published and has been widely acknowledged as a magazine of substance.  To the credit of this monthly it can be started that it enjoys readership even outside Rourkela. 

      Read Advantage Consumer, monthly newsletter of Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela.

         The Council started publishing its Anniversary Souvenirs containing interesting and thought provoking articles by leading consumer activists, since 1992. 


The Council believes that it can achieve greater success only through an innovative approach.  Trade and Industry always have the resources to sell their products through attractive advertising, whether it be through the print media or other modes of mass communication.  Consumer Protection Council,  Rourkela can probably claim with pride that it is the first Consumer Organisation to have put up big attractive sign boards, to carry forward the message ofConsumer Protection.The first such hoarding, measuring 5 m x 3 m, was put up by the Council in April 1991, opposite to the busy Ispat Market Area. Since then it has put up two more hoardings of size 5m x3m, and 10m x 3m, in other locations of the Steel City.

¨The Council with its growing strength could publish a few informative brochures.The Council had put up its stall in the Rourkela Book Festival through which it not only distributed its informative brochures but also counseled the consumers who approached it with their problems.


ÞThe Council has a practice of highlighting the success achieved in Consumer Courts by the consumers and also other information of relevance to the consumers through the national as well as the local Press.The Council can wellsaid to enjoy the total support of the local press correspondents through whom it succeeded in giving extra teeth to the consumer movement, in this part of the country.

ÞThe Council observes the World Consumer Day, 15th March, religiously every year. On this day some important activity or the other like a public meeting, a Talk, a Quiz for the School children or a Quiz for the Housewives, Training Programme onConsumer Protection Act are conducted to educate as well as to create an awakening among the common man.Distribution of badges,display of banners with attractive slogans and also distribution of pamphlets are also a regular feature on that day.

ÞThe Council has all along been making best use of the RSTV (the local cableTV) and also the Doordarsan (national TV) to a lesser extent, in educating the public about their rights, through Talks, Interviews and Panel discussions.

ÞThe Secretary of theCouncil periodically takes up lecturing sessions in different fora like Rotary Clubs, Schools, Professional bodies like Indian Medical Association, etc.


·As stated earlier the Council had its birth through solving of a public grievance, which was non-delivery of cooking gas refill at home.It is only through solving of such public grievances it would be possible to bring in a credibility to the system which is generally perceived to be in disarray.

·In the Rourkela Steel Township the Doordarsan TV reception was quite bad in many parts of the city, due to wrong location of the TV Transmitter.The Council played its role for shifting of the Transmitter to the elevated and centrally located Durgapur Hill range in 1989.

·Though many public grievances wherein the Council played a key role can be cited, a major achievement, is the establishment of an independent District Forum, the lower most in the three tier quasi judicial machinery formed under the Consumer Protection Act for the speedy redressal of consumer grievances by the Government, at Rourkela.The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, in short District Forum, Sundergarh District was located at Sundergarh, the district headquarters.Few Districts in the country have peculiarities as in thecase of Sundergarh.Sundergarh, the District Headquarters is in the southern corner of the District with places such as Bonai situated at a distance of nearly 180 kms from the District Headquarters.One of the most populated cities of the State, commercially very important, nationally renowned and centrally located Rourkela is in this District.For reasons beyond logic, Rourkela does not enjoy the status ofDistrict Headquarters. The hardships encountered by the public and the national wastage in terms of petrol/diesel expenses and time wastage is phenomenal and all these avoidable wastages are caused due to the location of the District Headquarters in the farthest corner of the District.Further, the population of Rourkela, the third largest city of theState is equal to the population of the rest of the District.As a matter of fact,Sundergarh, the District Headquarters is having only about 5% of Rourkela’s population.Government ofOrissa initially set up theDistrict Forum for the Sundergarh District at Sundergarh.Overwhelming majority of the Consumer dispute cases arose from Rourkela (nearly 90%).The predicament of the consumers were highlighted by the Council in appropriate fora and the Government appreciating the difficulties amended the Orissa Consumer Protection Rules in 1993 which enabled the District Forum to have its sittings anywhere in the district. Further the amended rules also allowed for the establishment of theDistrict Forum in any part of the District.Similar facilities have been extended to the State Commission.It is worth mentioning here that as on July 1993, at the time of amending the Rules, out of 232 cases which were pending before the District Forum, Sundergarh, more than 200 were from Rourkela..Subsequently an independent District Forum was established at Rourkela, since January 1994.On account of this lot of national waste (avoidable journeys and wastage of man hours) have been eliminated and this has benefited lakhs of residents of Rourkela.

·The Union Governmentreduced theexcise duty rates on a wide range of consumables and consumer durables, during 1993-94.Overwhelming majority of the industries preferred eithertoassimilate the entireexcise duty concession themselves or at the most transferred a part of it to the consumers. Consumers Protection Council, Rourkela, undertook a detailed study of the excise duty concessions extended by the Government and the actual prices in the market.From the data thus collected it proved that the benefits through thereduction of excise duty rates were either totally non-transferred or partially transferred by the Industry.The Counciltook up this issue strongly with the concerned authorities and also circulated the details widely among the consumer activists and the general public.Many other leadingConsumer Organisations joined the Council in highlighting this issue.This catalysed the personal interference of the Union Minister and that helped inputting a check on the unbridled assimilation of public money by the Trade and Industry.

·Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela was one of those consumer organisations which took up the issue of printing of maximum retail price inclusive of local taxes, on Packaged Commodities, as early as 1986.Not long ago the unscrupulous traders used to charge the consumers, as per their wish as the maximum retail price, printed on the wrapper, was excluding the local taxes, which was very difficult to remember.The Packaged Commodities Rules were amended in 1991 and since then the manufacturers and the packers are required to print the maximum retail price inclusive of all taxes, on the wrapper. This has benefited the entire population of the country.

·Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela, had fought against the railway Authorities, in the National Commissions for not ensuring minimum amenities, for the travelling public, in the Utkal -Kalinga Express.


ÞSince 1988 the Council started taking up individual consumer complaints.Complaints relating to consumer durables, consumables, housing and financial institutions, civil supplies, weights and measures, cooking gas refills supplies, public utilities, etc. are being taken up.While the Council sorts out majority of the complaints through correspondence, it is also making use of the quasi-judicial machinery formed under the Consumer Protection Act whenever the opposite parties fail to see reason. TheCouncil hasfought cases in the District Forums ofSundergarh, Rourkela,Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow,StateCommission, Cuttack, National Commission, New Delhiand the Supreme Court.

ÞThe Council took up the non-refunding of booking advance to the depositors, by M/s. LML Ltd. and M/s. A.P.Scooters Ltd., through the State Commission and the National Commission.That brought relief not only to the thousands of consumers who were directly involved, but also to the lakhs who did not know how to get back their deposits.


Read Advantage Consumer, monthly newsletter of Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela.

Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela