LPG connections were today given to 100 women from BPL families here to mark the launch in Uttarakhand the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) which is aimed at replacing use of firewood with gas for cooking across the country.
The scheme was launched by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan who said the Centre is working hard to alleviate hardships of poor women across the
country especially those in the hills where collection of firewood is challenging and its use for cooking hazardous for health.
The launch of the scheme in Uttarakhand is part of central government’s plan to provide LPG connnections to five crore BPL families across the country by 2019.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Pradhan said the scheme conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a result of his commitment to alleviate the hardships of poor women especially those in the hills.
“Women residing in hill areas find it difficult to procure wood for cooking. We have decided to alleviate their problems and lend them a helping hand, by providing them with LPG connections,” he said.
“Women and children suffer from health problems, because of use of firewood in cooking, thereby reducing their life spans. Today, as I hand over gas connections to these women, I can see tears of joy in their eyes,” the minister said.
Pradhan spoke of the Centre’s plans to increase the number of distributorship from 239 to 400 and increase the capacity of the existing bottling plants in Uttarakhand.
“It is a difficult task to open a distributorship in a hilly area but the government is determined to do its best to ensure that the women have clean fuel by creating a new category of distributorship called ‘Durgam’,” Pradhan said.
The possibility of setting up small bottling plants in Srinagar and other hilly locations is also being explored, he said.
Among others present on the occasion were BJP MPs from Uttarakhand B C Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah, Ajay Tamta and theLeader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha Ajay Bhatt.
The Yojana, which was launched nationally by the Prime Minister at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh on May 1 this year, is to provide clean cooking fuel to BPL households across the country.
The identification of BPL families will be made on Social Economic Caste Census (SECC)- 2011 data.