Only three cylinders till March next

Dont plan elaborate cooking at home this Diwali, or your subsidised cylinder quota may run out

Only three cylinders till March next

Get set to shell out double the price or else go to sleep empty stomach! The dictum might be indirect but has been announced by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for LPG domestic cooking gas customers through a recent advertisement which mentions that from September 14 instant to March 31 2012, each household is entitled to only three subsidised gas cylinders!

And the promised six cylinders will be only applicable from the next fiscal year. Meanwhile, those who have received the news from their gas suppliers or delivery man are experiencing their worst nightmare.

“For a middle-class family, it is not possible to afford a gas cylinder for Rs 900!” says Sarojini Pandey, a homemaker from Rohini. “One has to start thinking about it because one cylinder on an average doesn’t last more than a month in a household with four members. When our gas delivery man told us that we will get only three cylinders at subsidised rates till March next year, it was shocking. Already our household budget has been badly shaken, I don’t know how we will manage to afford a cylinder with just one earning member!” she shares in exasperation.

It is not just Sarojini who is getting sleepless nights but most women who have to ensure that their family is fed properly. Sangeeta Shrivastava, another homemaker is tensed about inviting her in-laws at her home for Diwali. Sangeeta says, “At present we used to somehow manage but with guests coming over, there will be more utilisation of gas in cooking delicacies for the festival. Also, my in-laws are old and require hot water to drink so everytime they will heat water on gas, I will be thinking about how much of it will be left to suffice for the rest of us.”

Women are planning to switch to pipelines but in areas where this facility is unavailable, there is absolutely no way to escape the government’s decision. Jyoti Prabhu, a resident of Chattarpur says, “It is getting very difficult to be sure about feeding one’s family everyday with LPG rates having risen so much. Unlike others, we live in an unauthorised colony and so can neither opt for PNG pipeline nor get any kerosene now. So the minute we exhaust our subsidised cylinders, there is no certainity if we will be getting food everyday.”

Is this the reality in a country which is considered worldwide as one of the fastest growing economies? So the fight for cooking has begun and is all set to catch fire!

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