The Delhi Government on Tuesday launched an ambitious programme to make the capital the country’s first kerosene-free city. To achieve this aim, the Government would give 3.56 lakh LPG connections free. The Government will give an LPG cylinder, regulator, gas stove, tube and connection free of cost to the senior-most female member of the family holding Antodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Jhuggi Ration Card (JRC) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards.
“This will usher in an era of convenience and smoke-free cooking to lakhs of people who are finding it difficult to procure kerosene for cooking purposes,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said. “We want Delhi to be eco-friendly. We want Delhiites to make their food in an environment-friendly environment,” she said. She also handed over LPG connection papers and gas stoves to the first 20 beneficiaries at a function. A total of 200 beneficiaries were allotted LPG connections on Tuesday.
The Government is paying for 50 per cent of LPG connection charges for AAY and BPL card holders with the Centre paying the rest of the amount and 100 per cent of the charges for JRC card holders. All the beneficiaries would get gas connections by December, 2012.
She also said her Government was in talks with the Centre over the issue of getting cash transfers for people who don’t want to get items from the fair shops. She said the scheme was intended at removing corruption as the gas stoves will be procured from the gas companies and there will be complete transparency in the process.
Even as the Government went ahead with the programme of making the capital kerosene free, critics of the programme said that Delhi has a large poor migrant population, labourers who do not have either
AAY or BPL ration cards, many families also stay in slums on rent, they would not be able to take the benefit of free LPG connection scheme. Rather, these people would continue buying kerosene form black market at high prices.
Hence, even though the PDS system in the capital may become kerosene free, the city would not.