Kochi: The students of Ernakulam Medical college are suffering, as the supply of natural gas to the hostels and canteen has been snapped off by the Indian Oil Adani Gas Pvt Limited (IOAGPL). The supply was disconnected last Tuesday when the college authorities refused to pay the security deposit.
The PNG supply was being directed to three hostels and the Kudumbashree canteen on the college premises.
Explaining non payment of dues, the authorities said that the Indian Oil Adani Gas Pvt Limited (IOAGPL) had earlier committed to not charging anything over and above the actual usage charges.
“The company, while establishing the connections, had publicly declared that no extra charges would be levied. Last month, they issued a notice asking us to pay a sum of Rs 92,000 as security deposit,” said Principal of Government School of Nursing, Thankamony T Alex.
The canteen on the other hand was levied a deposit of Rs 1.58 lac . The sudden disconnection of gas supply ended in creating a crisis and panic in two of the three hostels. The third fortunately has reverted to PNG from LPG a few months ago in the face of raised bills.
The college authorities had received disconnection alerts on Nov 4 and Nov 10 respectively. The last letter making the disconnection imminent, if payments were not made. “The expense of the mess is met by pooling cash from students. Our students are from economically-backward and middle class families. For them, it would be a burden to pay the huge bills. We had asked the hostels to switch over to LPG various times after we found PNG expensive,” said Thankamony.
The medical college authorities had on an earlier occasion met Ajay Pillai, Deputy General Manager, IOAGPL,to discuss the issue. Pillai revealed that the gas company had agreed that they would join us in seeking government opinion in this regard. “Now, their move to end supply is nothing short of arrogance,” said Principal, Government Medical College, Ernakulam, Sreekala VK.
Sudha Raveendran, Kudumbashree canteen said that they had chosen PNG as they were told it was the cheaper option. She however complained of the company adding an additional Rs. 6000 from the first month of supply in the form of additional tax.
She further complained of another huge amount Rs 1.58 lac being imposed of late.
The Gas company official on his part claimed that the company was being affected due to non payment by the parties. “We had been telling them to pay the amount. A final decision on resuming supply has not been taken,” he added.