The poor invariably buy kerosene at anything between Rs. 35 to Rs. 45 a l
As against the State average of 32.5 per cent, an impressive 75.3 per cent of Bangaloreans use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as the cooking fuel in Bangalore.
Poor family’s fuel
Interestingly, kerosene, regarded a poor family’s fuel, is used by 15.9 per cent of the 23.77 lakh households in Bangalore, as against the State average of 5.4 per cent.
The use of kerosene is higher in Bangalore compared to Delhi (5.2 per cent), Chennai (14 per cent) and Mumbai (2.8 per cent).
The story of an entire fuel economy hangs by these figures.
Quota not enough
A family that holds a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card is eligible for 7 litres of fuel forRs. 110, which entails standing in long queues early morning.
Since this is not adequate for a month’s fuel needs, the poor invariably buy kerosene in the open market at anything between Rs. 35 to Rs. 45 a litre.
With an entire segment of the poor excluded from BPL categorisation, the number of families dependent on kerosene in the open market is big.
Besides, there is a sizeable kerosene-dependent migrant population that has no dwelling that can be called household and therefore, would escape census count.
Struggle for fuel
Huligevva, a migrant worker from Koppal, buys blue kerosene (supplied through ration shop) and the rest in the open market.
Interestingly, she does not have a BPL card herself, but buys the kerosene off a cardholder who has an LPG connection and sells it to her at Rs. 30, slightly below the market price.
Huligevva needs about 13 litres per month, and spends at least Rs. 400 per month on fuel alone.
A middleclass, four-member family pays Rs. 403 for an LPG cylinder and uses it for nearly two months on an average.
With the choice of LPG as cooking fuel being an indicator of human development, the continued dependence of an estimated 3.77 lakh households on kerosene is an indicator of a large chunk of population not having a share in the pie of prosperity in the bourgeoning metropolis.