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Ujjwala runs out of gas in Uttarakhand

Out of the 3.72 lakh people who were provided with LPG connections under the scheme, only about 3,500 have been able to refill their cylinders for regular use.

Published: 24th February 2020 10:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2020 10:25 AM   |  A+A-

Gas cylinder

Image used for representational purpose only(File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: The Centre’s flagship ‘Ujjwala Yojana’, as part of which LPG connections are provided for free to households considered ‘below poverty level’ (BPL), has, by all appearances and records, failed to yield the desired benefits in Utrarakhand.It turns out that over 99 per cent LPG holders, under the Ujjwala scheme, haven’t been able to refill their cylinders.

According to official records, out of the 3.72 lakh people who were provided with LPG connections under the scheme, only about 3,500 have been able to refill their cylinders for regular use. Most said they were struggling to dip into their meagre household budget to meet the rising cost of LPG.Madan Kaushik, a member of the Uttarakhand cabinet and a spokesperson for the government, said, “LPG connections (under the Ujjawala scheme) were provided to women to make their lives easy and we are committed to ensuring that the larger objective behind the scheme is fulfilled.”

Apart from the spike in LPG prices, other reasons that the locals cited for the abysmal refilling rate in the state are non-availability of stations or centres to have the cylinders refilled and no one to have the cylinders delivered to the houses of LPG holders due to the tricky hilly terrain. Vandana Devi, a homemaker from Khedgaanv in Tehri district, said, “The prices of LPG cylinders have been on the rise in the recent past. A cylinder now costs around `900. We simply don’t have enough money to have the cylinders refilled. The government should scale down the rates at the earliest.”

Deepa Devi from Mayali in Rudraprayag, said, “The cost of hiring a vehicle or a mule for a ride uphill to have the cylinder delivered is anywhere around `100 and `300. It is more than what we can afford.” While the price of non-subsidised LPG was hiked by `144.5 per cylinder last week, the government doubled the subsidy from `153.86 to `291.48 to ensure the beneficiaries doesn’t feel the pinch. Prabhat Verma, deputy general manager, Indian Oil Corporation, said, “We get over 3,500 refilling requests from Uttarakhand. The refilled cylinders are moved to the agencies from where they are distributed to the LPG holders.”

Under the Centre’s flagship ‘Ujjwala Yojana’, LPG connections are provided for free to BPL households across the country. The scheme is aimed at empowerment of underprivileged women

3.72 lakh LPG connections across 13 Uttarakhand districts

13 districts in Uttarakhand

3,500 LPG holders in the state under the central scheme are able to refill their cylinders for regular use

Rs153.86  Government subsidy per LPG cylinder previously

Rs 291.48  Revised government subsidy per LPG cylinder


 

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