Residents of Pethkar Samrajya, a 600 flat society located in Kothrud, have now begun to feel the pinch of the new rules set for housing societies receiving LPG through a common pipeline.
According to the new policy, housing societies will be considered as a single consumer and, hence receive only six subsidised cylinders in a year, regardless of the total number of flats, which is severely affecting housing societies.
To make matters worse, on September 28, the gas agency delivering LPG cylinders to Pethkar Samrajya society stopped supply citing a fund crunch in purchasing cylinders at the commercial rate of Rs 938. With no alternative left, members of the society contributed Rs 2,500 each to restart their LPG supply.
Residents are crying foul, over the inconsiderate rules that is set to burn a huge hole in their pockets, raising an obvious question as to why the government is applying a separate rule and denying them the six-cylinder subsidy per family formula, which has been enforced by the government.
“People residing in bungalows or in slum areas are availing the benefit of six cylinders at the subsidised rate annually, then why do we have to pay the commercial rate for LPG cylinder. The rule should be uniform for all,” said an IT professional residing in the society, on condition of anonymity.
Ajit Kotibhaskar, head of the society’s legal committee, said, “Right now we are making an advance payment to the gas agency to make sure that we get the required LPG cylinders at the commercial rates on time.”
The society has opened a separate bank account towards this, and also set up an LPG committee to ensure a smooth flow. The L5 phase of the society, which has four buildings and 98 flats, has a requirement of around 90 LPG cylinders per month.
“Until last month, we were charged Rs 72 per LPG unit, but after September 14, without any prior intimation, the gas agency has started charging Rs 185 per unit by applying the commercial rate, which was Rs 1400 per cylinder. But after the government clarified that non-subsidised price of LPG cylinder is Rs 938 for residential use, we are now charged Rs 137 per LPG unit,” said Kotibhaskar.
Residents state that the alternative provided by the district collector was unpractical. Vikas Deshmukh had earlier said that societies having piped LPG should withdraw their connection and opt for individual connections.
Vijaynagar building society, Dhayri, is suffering a similar problem. Harishchandra Aasbe, a resident, said, “Gas agencies are bluntly refusing applications for a new gas connection. Our society has 207 flats, and we are still not clear on how much increase in price of LPG we have to pay because of the new rules set by the government.”
The collector made it clear, yesterday, that from now onwards irrespective of total flats in a society, they would be charged commercial rate by considering one society as one connection.
According to Food Distribution Office (FDO) there are around 300 societies in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad that use piped LPG gas for cooking purposes.