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LPG price hike adds to city’s burden

LPG domestic cylinders prices were hiked by Rs 25 today, rising total cost to Rs 911 in Kolkata.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Adding to the woes of fuel prices, the latest hike in LPG cylinder rates has increased the strain on the city’s middle-class budgets who are now exploring alternatives for cheaper cooking options.

Several poor families in Kolkata and adjoining areas are now considering returning to coal-fed ovens as a means of meeting their daily needs. LPG domestic cylinders prices were hiked by Rs 25 today, rising total cost to Rs 911 in Kolkata.

Zubaida Khatoon, who is the sole bread-earner of a five-member family in Raja Bazar had availed LPG cylinder connection five years back. After losing her husband in the Covid pandemic last year, she runs her family of three daughters and a mother-in-law by working as domestic help. With limited income and a high rate of inflation, Zubaida is now considering returning to coal-fed ovens that she used five years back.

“With my low income and increasing rates of commodities, I was already struggling to make both ends meet,” said Zubaida. “Now, when the price of LPG cylinders has shot through the roof, spending about Rs 1,000 every month from my low salary is almost impossible. I have no option than to switch to the older option of cooking using coal-fed ovens,” claimed the quinquagenarian.

Like Zubaida, families of Mustafa Khan, Shyamal Poddar, Tanmay Saha, who were already reeling under the economic effects of the second wave of the pandemic, are also feeling additionally burdened by the hike in LPG cylinder
prices.

“With so many lockdowns and poor income during the unlock period, I was already finding it extremely difficult to run my family. The hike in LPG cylinder price has come as an additional burden to our already restrained budget. I
have asked my wife to switch to coal for cooking as LPG cylinders have now become a luxury to the lower middle class,” rued Saha, resident of Howrah