If you think that morning tea at the nearby dhaba is a good idea to escape the recent move to limit the use of subsidised LPG then think again.
Almost all roadside eateries and dhabas in Ludhiana have raised the price of tea and other eatables. However, the ones who cannot work without a sip of tea in their office will suffer the most.
Interestingly, these dhabas and eateries are supposed to use the commercial connection of cylinder that costs more than Rs 1,200 as of now.
The prices of the commercial cylinder keep on fluctuating in accordance with the rate of crude oil in the international market.
However, the district food and supply officer has apparently failed to discharge the duty in checking the use of domestic cylinders in dhaba and restaurants in Ludhiana.
Dhaba and small-time restaurant owners using domestic LPG connection have now decided to raise the prices of tea and other eatables. They say that this was necessary as they would suffer loss due to a cap on use of domestic LPG.
The government has recently decided to provide subsidy on only six cylinders a year and thereafter an LPG cylinder would come without the subsidy.
"Nearly 50 cylinders are used in my dhaba every year. This is an approximate figure and the number could be more than this. Small-time restaurant and dhaba owners cannot afford a commercial connection as the rates fluctuate every month," said Ramesh Kumar, who owns a dhaba in the Sarabha Nagar area.
He added that a cup of tea, which earlier cost Rs 5, would now come for Rs 8. "The rate of eatables have also been increased in the wake of cap on subsidised LPG," said Kumar.
The rates of eatables went up following an increase in the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre. The hike in diesel prices affects the price of all essential commodities as the transportation cost is increased with the increase in the fuel prices.
Amreek Singh, another dhaba owner near railway station, said the rates of eatables have also been raised following rationing of cylinders. Most dhaba owners near the railway station use domestic cylinders.
"The rate of mixed vegetable that was Rs 25 earlier has been raised to Rs 30. Pulses that were earlier available at Rs 30 are now being sold at Rs 36 a kg," said Singh.
Raman Sood, a medicine shop owner, said, "The rate of tea, which is an essential thing for everyone, has been raised by almost all dhabas in the city. A cup of a tea is the only thing that everyone could afford. However, it seems that the government does not want the poor people to live in this country."
Sources in the food and supply department said dhabas, small-time restaurants and in some cases even prominent restaurants were using domestic cylinders. "Raids were conducted and the offenders were warned against using domestic cylinders. However, no FIR was registered against them," sources added.
It is mandatory for the food and supply department to register FIR against those using domestic LPG cylinders instead of commercial ones.
Despite repeated attempts, district food and supply officer Rajnish Kumari, who is responsible to check the use of domestic LPG cylinders at commercial establishments, did not respond to phone calls or text messages.