The Delhi Cabinet on Monday decided to provide to 3.56 lakh poor families covered under the recently-launched Kerosene-Free Dilli Scheme three more LPG cylinders per annum at subsidised rates to soften the blow of the Centre’s recent decision to limit the subsidy on domestic cooking gas to just six cylinders per year.

The Delhi Government has decided to release the Rs.350 per cylinder difference between the price of a non-subsidised and subsidised cylinder in Delhi to meet this social obligation. The Government would thus be spending Rs.42 crore per annum to meet the additional cost of the three cylinders for the beneficiaries of the scheme.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the decision to extend the subsidy on three more LPG cylinders has been taken to provide relief to the poor families by mitigating the effects of inflation as far as cooking gas was concerned.

Incidentally, while these families were earlier spending Rs.2200 per annum on kerosene oil, due to the shift to LPG their household fuel bill is now expected to cross the Rs.6000 mark.

Under the Kerosene Free Dilli Scheme, which was launched on August 21, the Delhi Government had released an amount of Rs.3,049 for each beneficiary to provide LPG connection, filled LPG cylinder, regulator, security amount, gas stove, suraksha tube and LPG connection. The connections were to be issued in the name of the senior most female member of the families, which belonged to the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, Below Poverty Line or Jhuggi Ration Card holder categories.

In another decision, Ms. Dikshit announced, the Delhi Cabinet has decided to further augment the city carriage DTC low floor CNG bus fleet from 3,781 to more than 4400 through the purchase of 625 fully built non AC buses.

The Chief Minister said these buses will be purchased with a maintenance contract for 7,50,000 kilometres run or 12 years of operations, whichever is later. Each bus would cost nearly Rs.52.78 lakh and the total cost would work out to about Rs.330 crore.

The Delhi Government has drawn up a target to increase the size of its city stage carriage fleet to 11,000 buses with DTC and the corporate entities operating buses in 17 distinct clusters in equal numbers.

Already, 316 buses under the cluster scheme have started plying in two clusters while the DTC fleet of 5,667 buses comprises 3,781 low floor buses. The Government believes that there is a need to procure more buses since 1,742 old standard floor buses have completed their prescribed mileage of 5 lakh kilometres and would become due for scrapping by November 2012.

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