The UT administration has proposed to make the city kerosene-free from April this year. The proposal is under consideration of the union ministry of petroleum and natural gas. A meeting in this regard was held this month and was attended by the UT administration officials.
The ministry officials said they would consider implementation of the Delhi policy in Chandigarh for the purpose. This would directly benefit as many as 30,000 beneficiaries who would shift from kerosene to LPG.
The ration depots will not supply kerosene to residents as soon as they get ministry’s go ahead, which is expected within a month. The proposal to make the city kerosene-free was mooted by the UT administration in 2012 as well.
Sources in the administration claim that even though some families have a LPG connection, they still continue to purchase kerosene from the depots at subsidised rates. After purchasing the kerosene, the residents are then selling it at higher prices.
Confirming the development, sub-divisional magistrate Danish Ashraf said, “As per the deputy commissioner’s directions, we are working towards making the city kerosene-free and a communique is expected from the ministry concerned soon.”
As per the proposal, LPG connections would be given to everyone. The UT food and supplies department had conducted a survey, according to which there are as many as 30,000 people in the city without LPG connections and are dependant on kerosene for cooking food. Chandigarh, as of now, has seven depots where kerosene is supplied.
An officer, food and supplies department, said, “With the policy of kerosene-free city coming into effect, the ministry will release funds for providing LPG connections. The ministry will give `1,600 per beneficiary for getting LPG connection along with a regulator. After the ministry’s go ahead, a final survey of beneficiaries will be done after which the connections will be handed over.”
The officer said, “As of now, the UT administration is spending `10 crore every year on kerosene subsidy. Funds amounting to `12 crore will be spent for handing over the LPG connections.”
The UT administration has decided to stop the kerosene usage by beneficiaries, as it is hazardous and can lead to untoward incidents. Several incidents of fire and kerosene oil pilferage have come to the administration’s notice.