Arguing against the "unfair and cruel reductions in allocation of kerosene" to Tamil Nadu, chief minister Jayalalithaa has once again sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to ensure allotment of the state's monthly requirement of over 65,000-kl.
In a letter dated July 11, which was released by the state government today, the chief minister reminded that she had highlighted the issue in a memorandum presented to Modi during their meeting last month.
While TN's requirement as per entitlement of ration card holders in the state was 65,140-kl, the petroleum and natural gas ministry under the previous UPA regime had allocated 59,780-kl of kerosene per month up to March, 2010.
But that allotment was successively reduced on 10 occasions despite protests by her government, she said, adding that the present monthly allocation of kerosene for the state stands at 29,056-kl, which only covers 45% of its requirement.
Contrary to hopes that the "arbitrary and unjust reductions" would be reversed and cuts imposed by the UPA government would be undone with NDA coming to power, the chief minister said she was disappointed to learn that even in the latest order of July 1, TN has been allocated only 29,060-kl per month, the same as the preceding quarter.
"I presume that this allocation was at the official level following past precedent. The unfair and cruel reductions in allocation of kerosene in the past three years to TN to the extent of more than 55% against the actual requirement is severely penalising the poor and deprived people, particularly in rural areas," she said.
The "capricious cuts" imposed by the previous government would also have an environmental impact since the poor have to rely on firewood, she said.
"I am confident that your government will not allow such an unjust state of affairs to persist," Jayalalithaa said, seeking the Prime Minister's "urgent and decisive intervention to undo the injustice" done to the state and to allot the entire requirement of 65,140-kl of kerosene per month.
While the reduction in allocation is said to have been effected on the basis of data on LPG connections provided in TN, there are 'many infirmities' in the database, she said.
With oil marketing companies reluctant to share their data on LPG connections in TN, there is a huge data gap of 56.16 lakh connections between the statistics released by petroleum ministry and the family card data on the number of LPG connections in the state, she said.