BPL families get 24.50 lakh cooking gas connections under Ujjawala scheme in Rajasthan
With 24.50 lakh free cooking gas connections given to the BPL families, Rajasthan stands fifth in the country in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana since its launch in May 2016, but there is a long way ahead before it can be called a fuel efficient statejaipur Updated: Dec 26, 2017 20:59 IST
With 24.50 lakh free cooking gas connections given to the BPL families, Rajasthan stands fifth in the country in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) since its launch in May 2016, but there is a long way ahead before it can be called a fuel efficient state.
According to the official data, 3.22 crore BPL families have been given cooking gas connections under the PMUY across the country. In Rajasthan, the number of households given free cooking gas connections under the scheme has crossed 24.50 lakh as on December 24 this year.
However, Rajasthan still has a long way to go before people in rural areas stop using harmful and pollution causing sources of fuel such as firewood.
With these additional connections, the coverage of cooking gas in the state has increased to about 80% households as of now, compared to 62% before the scheme was launched in Rajasthan on May 15, 2016. “Udaipur, Barmer and Bhilwara lead in terms of number of connections given under PMUY,” an oil company official said.
However, the sales growth in LPG cylinders in Rajasthan has been only 11% in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-17 against the LPG consumer growth of 23%, giving an indication that many BPL families don’t go for refill as they can’t afford high costs of cylinders.
The oil marketing companies waive off the upfront payment required for an LPG connection for Ujjawala scheme beneficiaries. However, the companies that supply gas cylinders through LPG dealers extend a loan to Ujjawala beneficiaries towards the cost of the gas stove and the first gas cylinder. The companies recover this loan of about ₹1,600 from the subsidy amount payable to the consumer for each refill.
The selection of beneficiaries under the PMUY is being done on the basis of Socio-Economic Caste Census - 2011 data. The scheme is being piloted by three public sector oil marketing companies – IOCL, BPCL and HPCL.
In 2015, a report released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) had revealed that rural Rajasthan had the second highest usage of firewood for cooking. As per the report, about 89% households did not use LPG and were dependent on firewood and other sources for fuel. No fresh survey has been done to determine the extent to which the usage of firewood has come down ever since the Ujjawala scheme was implemented.