Ministers, industrialists misusing LPG cylinders?



New Delhi: Too much subsidised cooking gas (LPG) is being consumed by country’s VVIPs, according to the transparency portal launched on Friday by state-owned oil firms.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s official residence in New Delhi consumed 171 subsidised LPG cylinders in the year to May 31, while Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur used up 161 cylinders.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna used 83 refills of 14.2-kg cylinder at his Mathura Line residence in the national capital, BJP leader Rajnath Singh consumed 80 cylinders and former Union Minister M S Gill 79.

The portal showed that industrialist Naveen Jindal’s 6, Prithvi Raj Road residence in the capital received 369 refills, or more than one cylinder a day, through two LPG connections — one in name of his father late OP Jindal and another in name of Radha Devi Rawat.

Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy, who launched the portal so that people can track their bookings as well as see if someone was jumping the queue to get a replacement before him, got 26 refills or more than two per month. As per norms, general public is not allowed to book a refill within 21 days of delivery of a cylinder.

“This (large number of refills) shows I am a popular leader,” Reddy said in lighter vein. “I get so many visitors everyday... sometimes 200 to 300. Naturally, consumption will be high.”

While the same argument may be true for most of the public figures, there might also be instances of dealers fraudulently showing bookings in certain names and actually diverting the subsidised bottles to commercial establishments.

PTI