The burning price of LPG and its shortage have added to the woes of students in city hostels.
Hostels could earlier purchase the subsidised LPG cylinder for Rs. 425. Now, they have to buy cylinders under the commercial slab of Rs.1,137.50 per cylinder.
Many hostels are looking for other fuel sources or have had to shut the mess down at times to tide over the crisis.
The mess at the government post-matric hostel for boys near Rajendra Maidan had to be shut down for a few days during the last couple of months as LPG was not available. On such days, each student at post-matric hostel is given Rs. 50 a day, an amount fixed by the government, to buy food. “This amount was fixed about three years ago. Given the current prices of food items and milk, this is hardly enough for three meals a day,” said a student staying at the hostel. This means that students sometimes have to go without the special items like non-vegetarian food promised in their menu as part of cost-cutting.
The hostel uses firewood stove when LPG is unavailable. “We've even chopped up and used some of the old, broken furniture lying around here as fuel,” said another student.
“The increase in LPG prices could increase our hostel fees up by around Rs.500 per month, which is too high an amount for many students. We've sent a petition to the authorities seeking a solution,” said Anwin Shaj, a student at the Government Law College hostel.