WHO report all praise for Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana

NewsBharati    02-May-2018


New Delhi, May 2: Close on the completion of 100 percent electrification of the country by taking electricity to all the 18500 remote villages well before the target deadline, the Narendra Modi government has received praise for its flagship initiative of taking LPG to BPL families with an objective to provide a better health protection to women and children from smoke.

Yes, it is the most admired Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) that found mention in the World Health Organisation’s report on pollution.

“Countries are taking measures to tackle and reduce air pollution from particulate matter. For example, in just two years, India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has provided some 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use,” the WHO report said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched this ambitious flagship scheme of his government on May 1, 2016 in Baliya district in Uttar Pradesh where the gas penetration was the lowest in the country. The government has announced that under the PMUY it will provide five crore gas connections in three years involving Rs 8000 crore.

The scheme aims to protect women and children from the smoke emitted from households using firewood for cooking purposes. Under the scheme, families below the poverty line are to be provided with LPG connections with a support of Rs. 1,600 per connection in the next three years.

PMUY is the first large-scale welfare scheme that is implemented by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. This ministry, which was criticized to be elitist and pro-industry till 2014, has shown great enthusiasm and efficiency in implementing PMUY. This is the striking feature of the Modi Government that it has allotted at least one such welfare scheme to each major Ministry, for the purpose of uplift of poor and the deprived.

Identifying BPL families through the Socio Economic Caste Census Data (SECCD), around Rs. 8,000 crore have been allocated towards the implementation of the scheme. Besides, the government also added another Rs 4,800 crore into the scheme and increased the target of beneficiaries from five crore to eight crore in February.

Beneficiaries from the SC/ST households, beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin), Antyoday Anna Yojana, forest dwellers, most backward classes, Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands and rivers were added to the SECCD, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan had said.

 

India is home to more than 24 crore households out of which about 10 crore households are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung-cakes etc. as primary source of cooking. The smoke from burning such fuels causes alarming pollution and adversely affects the health of women & children causing several respiratory diseases. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.

According to Rajya Sabha report, the total number of LPG connections released under PMUY in India was 11,702,168 as on 1st December 2016. The top 10 states/ UTs in terms of the number of LPG connections released under PMUY were: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Haryana as on 1st December 2016.

The number of LPG connections allotted in Uttar Pradesh was 3,836,916 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 32.79% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India. The number of LPG connections allotted in Madhya Pradesh was 1,651,685 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 14.11% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

The number of LPG connections allotted in Rajasthan was 1,359,200 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 11.61% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India. The number of LPG connections allotted in Bihar was 1,219,345 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 10.42% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

The number of LPG connections allotted in West Bengal was 966,788 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 8.26% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

These top five states accounted for 77.2% of the total number of LPG connections allotted under PMUY in India as a whole as on 1st December 2016.

The number of LPG connections allotted in Odisha was 578,904 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 4.95% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India. The number of LPG connections allotted in Gujarat was 558,027 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 4.77% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

The number of LPG connections allotted in Chhattisgarh was 406,766 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 3.48% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India. The number of LPG connections allotted in Maharashtra was 355,782 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 3.04% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

The number of LPG connections allotted in Haryana was 218,362 as on 01.12.2016. It accounted for 1.87% of the total number of LPG connections allotted in India.

The above mentioned top 10 states accounted for 95.3% of the total number of LPG connections allotted under PMUY in India as a whole as on 1st December 2016.

(Source: Rajya Sabha Session – 241, Starred Question No. 230)