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New LPG norms put dog squads, other Government establishments in a fix

  • V.S. Palaniappan
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City police dog squad and kennel training centre is hit by the new restrictions on LPG supply.— File Photo: M. Periasamy.
City police dog squad and kennel training centre is hit by the new restrictions on LPG supply.— File Photo: M. Periasamy.

The new norms for supply of LPG cylinders brought in by the Petroleum Ministry has its impact not just on homemakers due to the cap on the supply of number of cylinders per year but the reclassification has also left many Government establishments in general and the police dog squads in a fix.

Now LPG connections of Government, quasi-Government institutions, hospitals, mess, canteens, noon meal centres, anganwadis and even the dog squads of the police have been brought under Non-Domestic Exempted Category (NDEC). A subsidised domestic LPG cylinder weighing 14.2 kg costs Rs 398.

Under the NDEC category, the price for the same cylinder is Rs 1,233, thrice the price of a subsidised cylinder.

The price of a commercial cylinder is Rs 1728. NDEC cylinders enjoy only a discount of Rs 7 per kg less than the commercial cylinders.

Such a steep hike definitely puts the operational cost of Government establishments on the higher side. Worst hit will be canteens, mess in Government establishments, such as hostels and hospitals.

Allocation of funds for hostels for SC/ST and BC students, Government college hostels, anganwadis and noon meal centres are meagre and the steep hike has hit them really hard. The plight of dog squads of the police is no better. Due to the steep hike, many dog squads of the police in various cities and districts have already switched to conventional fuel. This has resulted in wastage of manpower and time for personnel manning these teams.

For instance LPG is required to boil milk and egg for the dogs’ morning diet and cook beef and rice for the evening menu. The squads function with a meagre allowance of Rs. 85 per dog per day for animals in service and Rs. 44 for dogs that have been retired. With this allowance, procuring cylinders at a price thrice over the previous LPG price would be extremely difficult, say personnel in charge of the squads.

The issue has been taken up with Police Headquarters since efforts at the local level through the petroleum corporations had gone in vain.

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