BENGALURU: To meet the demand for fuel supply to fishing boats in Karnataka, the Fisheries Department has put forth a proposal before the state government seeking permission for fishermen to change the engine of boats from kerosene to petrol. This goes against the proposal of the union government drive for LPG energy.
The demand from the fisheries department has only intensified after the Food and Civil Supplies Department received a letter from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, dated November 2, 2022, stating that they have decided to allocate 3,000 KL of non- subsidised PDS kerosene, increasing the total allocation to 5,472 KL for the 2022- 23 financial year.
Officials from the fisheries department said that additional supply is still less than what they need, which is 24,900 KL annually for 8030 boats. Each boat needs 300 litres of fuel a month. They stated that last year 10,000 KL was sanctioned. They also pointed out that the quantity of sanctioned supply has been coming down year on year.
Fisheries department director, Ramacharya Puranik told The New Indian Express, “Conversion of kerosene engines to petrol engines will cost around Rs 1.30 lakh, so we have proposed for 50 per cent subsidy from the government, but we will still need Rs 62 crore for the entire exercise.”
The department has proposed a phased conversion over a duration of four years. They state that even the fishermen are not keen on LPG and reason that the pick up in boats is not good when compared to petrol and kerosene.
The department is also keen on following the Goa model where over 90 per cent of the fishermen use petrol. The officials state that getting petrol will also be easier and the same subsidy formula for kerosene can be applied.