Widespread protest in State; hotels to down shutters today

The LPG crisis in Kerala intensified on Thursday after distribution agencies suspended delivery of cylinders following the confusion over the steep price hike announced by petroleum companies for non-subsidised cooking gas.

Consumers across the State were left high and dry as LPG bottling plants stopped operation, disrupting the transport of cylinders.

Signalling more misery for the public, hotels and restaurants in Kerala will down shutters on Friday to protest against the LPG price hike.

The 12-hour agitation has been called by the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association. Bakeries will observe a black day though they will remain open.

Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily’s assurance on a two-month extension for LPG consumers to link their Aadhaar cards with bank accounts to avail of LPG subsidy has failed to clear the confusion over the price rise or ease the crisis.

Kerala witnessed widespread protests over the steep increase in the price of non-subsidised LPG. In Alappuzha, workers at gas agencies took out a march on the highway to signal their protest. Leaders across the political spectrum came out against the petroleum companies for the price hike.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said he would write to the Centre seeking a rollback of the LPG price. Criticising the decision to decontrol LPG pricing, Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran urged the Central government to restore the administered price mechanism.

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