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For the past month, 27-year-old Abhinav Sarin has been cooking meals on a mini 5kg LPG cylinder that he bought from a market at Kondhwa rather than ordering takeout.
"It has been working fine and I am happy. I took basic cooking tips from my mother. I am not new to cooking and using a locally-made cylinder scares me at times. However, I didn't want the hassle of going to a registered company in order to get it. By now, everyone knows why people like us are cooking meals rather than visiting a mess or a hotel," said Sarin, a resident of Koregaon Park.
According to those involved in the business, sale of mini 5kg LPG cylinder has shot up post-demonetization. Many people, especially singles living alone or in groups, have started to cook simple meals at home to save money and avoid eating out. LPG agencies also pointed out that demand for small cylinders has increased since the past month.
President of Pune LPG Dealers' Association Usha Poonawala said that the sale of small cylinders had increased by around 10% post demonetization. "Many have clamped on their spending in a bid to save cash. For singles too, the situation is just the same and cooking food at home rather than eating out is a good way to save money," Poonawala told TOI.
LPG retailers agreed adding that documentation required to get the mini cylinders is not a tedious process. "On an average, we have provided at least 30 to 40 connections of small cylinders to people who are mostly singles, in the last 45 days. Earlier, the number was far too less and there were months when there was no demand for such cylinders. A 5kg cylinder costs about Rs1,200and the cost of refills fluctuates from month to month but stays between Rs300 to Rs400," said a representative of Pimpri Bharat Gas, located at Kasarwadi.
Those selling locally-made 5kg LPG cylinders also said that more and more young professionals are opting for the cylinders.
"Though I wouldn't go into the details on how these cylinders are manufactured, one can say that they are safe to use and, before handing them over to customers, we do check everything. Last month, I sold around 25 such units and the figure is almost similar this month as well. Before demonetization was announced, we would sell around 10 units each month and most of them used to come to us for a refill," said one seller.
Due to high demand, the seller has increased the price slightly to Rs800 and is subject to bargain. "The refilling cost fluctuates from time to time and presently rests around Rs110, per litre," he pointed out.
Snehil Bharghav, who works with a private company and lives with her friend in Kalyaninagar, has bought two such cylinders. "We got one from an authorized gas agency a month ago. The other one was given to one of my roommates by a friend for Rs1,000. We chipped in the money to get the two. The agency did not ask for too many documents apart from our address proof. Standing in bank queues has been a headache and it is important to save whatever cash we withdraw. Hence, we take turns cooking at least one meal for the day and, on Sundays, we cook together," Snehil said.
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