Consumers To Get 3 LPG Cylinders Till March

Srinagar – Following the 6-cylinder a year cap on cooking gas announced by the government of India on 13th of this month, consumers would be entitled to only three subsidized LPG cylinders for the remaining period of financial year ending March 2013. The “anti-people” decision comes at time when the people of Kashmir valley are bracing up for harsh winter season.

A series of meetings took place yesterday at Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department on how to go about implementation of the decision to limit subsidized gas cylinders.

Sources said the CAPD authorities were told about the ill timing of the decision visa-via Kashmir province. “We tried to convince the officials that decision should be delayed for the time being because of the approaching winter. However, they didn’t pay any heed to our inputs and seemed to be hell bent to implement with the decision,” they told Kashmir Observer.

“With the onset of winter, there will be crisis as everyone cannot afford to buy cooking gas at higher rates. Not only that, there is complete chaos regarding the distribution of gas because people not only have multiple connections with one gas company but at the same with other companies as well. How they will ensure transparency is hard to understand”, said one of the participants in the meeting. 

“Policy makers are completely out of sync with the ground realities. They should have taken people into confidence. You can’t impose such a decision on people; it’s a harsh measure which will back fire.”

The deputy director, CAPD, Shafqat Iqbal, admitted that harsh climatic conditions put the valley at a serious disadvantage compared to other states. “We will recommend to the government on the basis of “topographical location” which if implemented will increase the cap from 6 to 12 cylinders,” he told Kashmir Observer.

“In Delhi, you need 1 kg of LPG to boil 10 liter water but in the valley you need at least 2 kg for the same. As a result, we will request state government to take up the matter with the centre. The cap should be increased from 6 to 12 cylinders,” he said.
On distribution of LPG, the deputy director said there would be loopholes at certain places but it has to be ‘one household and pne LPG connection.’

However, till the time recommendations of CAPD are conceded, customers will have to abide by the new regulations. They have to fill a form KYC – “know your consumer” to avail themselves of LPG from the dealer. After submitting KYC form, the customers only will be able to procure the most sought after commodity. The new regulations will be strictly in place within 15 to 20 days. The time frame has been given to complete the documentation.

Meanwhile, LPG consumers in the valley are in complete disarray, “It’s shocking that we will get only 3 cylinders in 6 months of winter. How are we going to survive this winter. They (government) need to rollback the decision with immediate effect,” said Zahoor Pampori, a consumer.

Another LPG consumer, Farooq Ahmad Lone, lambasted the government for its failure to plead the case in the backdrop of peculiar geographical and climatic conditions obtaining in the valley.

“The state government has failed to take into consideration the chronic shortage of power in the valley during winter. Obviously, a vast majority of consumers will find themselves in a totally unenviable situation in which they will have no way out,” said Mymoona, a housewife.

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