Subsidised LPG cylinders in the state-run schools in Rajasthan would soon be withdrawn forcing them to shell out market price for cooking midday meal or just let the kids go without it.
In the absence of Aadhaar card, now a pre-requisite for a subsidised LPG cylinder, as many as 20,000 schools will have to forego their connections and purchase the cylinders at market rates.
The issue: Elementary schools were allowed to have subsidised LPG cylinders to cook mid-day meals for children. “In the first phase, 49,000 schools were to be provided LPG bottles. So far 20,000 schools have got the connections,” an official of education department said.
The glitch: Subsidised cylinders have been approved by the Zila Parishads against School Management Committees (SMC). Since Aadhaar cannot be issued to an SMC, therefore these connections will have to be surrendered by March 31. Also, no teacher is willing to forfeit his connection by getting LPG for school kitchen against his Aadhaar.
The burden: Subsidised LPG costs around Rs400 while it would cost a pinching Rs1,200 at market price. “The Zila Parishad pays us Rs3.34 per student towards the mid-day meal. If subsidised LPG is withdrawn, then we won’t be able to cook meals for kids,” an official said.
CEO Zila Parishad Parmeshwar Lal said, “The collector will have to direct oil companies to continue giving the schools subsidised cylinders.”