CAP ON LPG: To hurt Home for the Blinds
Author(s): Harish K. MongaFerozepur, December 11, 2012: The Home for the Blinds, Ferozepur is in financial crisis with the introduction of new cooking gas supply. After the supply of over and above the cap of 6 gas cylinders, the remaining...
Ferozepur, December 11, 2012: The Home for the Blinds, Ferozepur is in financial crisis with the introduction of new cooking gas supply.
After the supply of over and above the cap of 6 gas cylinders, the remaining supplies to the institution would not only be at the market rate but at the commercial rate of Rs.1,300 per cylinder against the normal charges of Rs.460 which has disturbed their financial position.
With the steep rise in gas prices, uncertain kerosene supply and power scarcity might force the people and institutions like Home for the Blind to go back to the age old dependence on forests.
The Home for the Blinds, which housed 23 blind inmates from different states of India, irrespective of caste and creed was established in 1954, is being run by the local management members on voluntarily donations.
While talking to Puran, Supervisor, Home for the Blinds, who is with the institution for the last more than three decades said earlier all the gas agencies were used to give one cylinder free of cost besides the remaining requirement on demand at any time. But now, the Home for the Blind has to purchase the gas cylinders at a cost of Rs.1,300 per cylinder which has upset the budget of the Home for the Blinds.
Puran further said, the average consumption of the Home for the Blind is 7 to 10 cylinders per month during the summer and it goes up to 13 cylinders per month during the winter season. Prior to the introduction of new cooking gas supply policy, the expenditure of the institution was Rs.45,000 per month which has increased more than three times, with extra expenditure of Rs.1,20,000 on getting the gas supplies only.
Ashwani Sharma, secretary of the institution when contacted said, there has been no grant to the institution from the Punjab government for the last two years and is being run with the public donations. Since the donors priority have changed, it is very difficult for the institution to run free lodging and boarding facility extended to the blind inmates since its inception.
On asking about the availability of the funds with the Home for the Blinds, he said, the institution is having about Rs.8-10 lakhs which is entirely kept for the rainy season when there is no help from any quarters.
Sharma further said, the matter was also taken up with the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur who is also the chairman of the institution, showed his inability to help in this regard being the policy of the central government as the kitchens for supply of mid-day meals are also affected with the increase of prices of the gas cylinders.
B. K. Khanna, Manager, Home for the Blinds said, the institution should be exempted from charging of commercial rate for gas supply beyond the cap of six cylinders. He, however, appealed to the government to take care of such charitable institutions that are looking after the needy persons like blinds and there should be regular grant depending upon the requirement of the institution.