New Delhi: With pilgrims finding market priced cooking gas (LPG) too costly, Oil Ministry has ordered that subsidised LPG be provided to them during the entire duration of Kumbh Mela.
"Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily has approved the proposal to provide subsidised LPG connections to Kumbh pilgrims," an official said here.
As per government policy, a subsidised LPG connection can only be availed by households. All others, including community kitchen and commercial establishments like hotels, are supplied market priced LPG which is Rs 481 per 14.2-kg cylinder more than the subsidised price of Rs 410 in Delhi.
This policy essentially meant that kitchens and other establishments using LPG at Kumbh Mela get market priced cooking gas.
The official said this led to a sharp drop in number of LPG connections issued during the current Kumbh. Against 7,000 connections issued in 2001, only 931 connections had been sought this year. While in 2001 over 33,000 cylinders consumed, this year only 4,000 bottles were used.
"To ease the hardship, the Minister has ordered subsidised LPG connections and refills be issued to those wanting at the Kumbh mela," he said.
Previously, the Minister had ordered that diesel for fishermen boats will be available at subsidised rates.
Diesel-run fishing boats were treated by oil companies as bulk users of the fuel and were charged almost Rs 10 more than the petrol pump price since the January 17 decision of the government to sell the most consumed fuel in the country at market rates to bulk users.
However, as per the order, fishermen are individual customers and not bulk customers for receiving supplies from oil marketing companies.
Bulk users like railways, defence and state transport corporations pay more than Rs 10 a litre more for diesel they should directly from oil companies.