TIRUPATI: During every rainy season, Athmakuru Varalakshmamma refills her cooking gas cylinder and uses it for three or four months. As the rains subside, she switches back to the burning of discarded and stray wood for daily cooking in her village Gudipala in Chittoor district
In the past two months, however, she didn’t refill her gas cylinder. The gas prices were going up and up.
“The gas prices were high at Rs 854 last April when I filled the cylinder for daily use before the Monsoon started,” said Varalakshmamma, 62, the widowed woman farmer.
Now, she said, the gas prices are even higher. She can no more afford to fill the cylinder.
The gas price was hiked afresh on September 1, when the cost of a non-subsidised 14.2 kg domestic LPG cylinder went up by Rs 25. This was the second price hike by the central government in the past 14 days. Now, each LPG cylinder costs Rs 80 more than in April and Rs 308 than it did in September last year.
According to the latest prices, the price of an LPG cylinder ranging from Rs 900 to Rs 934 in different parts of the state, as against Rs 615-650 for the same period last year. The price of a 14.2 kg gas cylinder is Rs 971 in Anantapur, Rs 934 in Chittoor, Rs 902 in Visakhapatnam, Rs 924 in Guntur, Rs 961 in Kadapa, Rs 975 in Kurnool, Rs 944 in Ongole, Rs 931 in Srikakulam and Rs 902 in Vizianagaram.
In Chittoor district, the price of a domestic gas cylinder rose to Rs 934 from Rs 894 and of a commercial gas cylinder from Rs 1,788 to Rs 1863. There are 10.50 lakh consumers in the district while 103 gas agencies supply the cylinders to them.
According to an estimate, over 4-5 lakh cylinders are being refilled in the district. The latest hike imposes an additional burden of nearly Rs 1.25 crore on consumers....