Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has urged Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy to allow the hill State six months’ time to create awareness and persuade people with additional LPG cylinders to surrender them voluntarily. At a meeting with Mr. Reddy in New Delhi on Thursday, Mr. Bahuguna apprised him of the hardships the people were facing after the oil companies blocked about 1.5 lakh connections wherever more than one connection was registered at a particular address.

“If a joint family has two brothers living under one roof with separate kitchens, they should be treated as two units and given two connections and not one. Similarly if a tenant was staying in a house, along with the landlord, both were entitled to LPG connections,” he said.

Citing the 2011 Census, Mr. Bahuguna said there were 1,893,237 gas connections as against 3,047,001 families in Uttarakhand which was just 48 per cent. Rest 52 per cent families were depending on traditional fuel resources like wood and cow dung cake or kerosene.

Although the fake connections needed to be cancelled the genuine users should not be forced to fall back on scarce fuel wood, he said.