New Delhi: To reduce the subsidy burden on LPG, the government has decided to cancel the cooking gas connections of more than 1.75 lakh consumers in Delhi-NCR.

The connections will be withdrawn from consumers who are simultaneously availing Piped Natural Gas (PNG) services.

The decision was taken during a meeting between the Petroleum Ministry, oil marketing companies and Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

The oil companies have been asked to stop supply of gas cylinders to such users who have not forfeited their gas cylinder connections despite availing PNG connections.

According to sources, around 1.77 lakh LPG connections will be cancelled in Delhi and NCR region. Presently, more than 2.08 lakh households are using PNG connections.

As per rules, the consumer has to return the LPG cylinder to the concerned agency within two months after getting the PNG connection. Till now, only 2300 consumers have willingly surrendered their cylinders.

Apart from this, companies have cut connections of around 28, 500 consumers.

Sources say taking back cylinders from PNG holders is an important step towards saving petroleum subsidy.

Oil companies and IGL have been asked to write letters to users for submission of cylinders. If users fail to do so, the process of cancellation of connections would start.

IGL has also been asked to provide a list of PNG connections and their holders to the oil companies.

The drive would start from the government colonies and after Delhi it would be extended to other cities. The government had started the PNG programme in 200 cities last year.

The government can save Rs 68 crore by recalling cylinders from 1.77lakh users.

It is estimated that oil companies are still facing a loss of Rs 320 per cylinder that accounts to Rs 15, 000 crore loss from cooking gas only.

JPN/Bureau