Thanks to Ujjwala scheme, LPG coverage in T.N. to touch 100%

With more connections being provided to beneficiaries under the Ujjwala scheme, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) coverage in the State is now 97.9%. That translates to 2.02 crore consumers. Substantial increases have happened in the last three years or so, bringing up the April 2016 figure of 80.08% with 1.61 crore consumers.

Tamil Nadu is one of the States that has quite a high penetration of LPG in households with the three Government-run oil majors adding an average of 6 lakh regular connections each year. Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the companies have added around 9 lakh connections each year, explained oil industry sources.

‘Only a few left out’

R. Sitharthan, Executive Director, Indian Oil Corporation and State oil industry coordinator, said that it was a matter of only a few lakh more connections for the State to reach 100% coverage. Neighbouring Puducherry has already reached 100% connections. We are now searching for people who have been left out, village by village. Supply is also being ensured and it is not an issue,” he said.

Cost waiver

It was in May 2016 that the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in the country. The Centre has waived the cost of deposit, regulator and the orange-coloured Suraksha hose. The beneficiaries would bear the cost of the refill and stove and would be able to pay the amount through EMI for six months.

The target customers for this scheme initially were those covered in the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) list. But in April 2018, beneficiaries were identified from amongst SC/ST households, forest dwellers, most backward classes, tea and ex-tea garden tribes and people residing on islands/ river islands.

S. Kumar, Deputy General Manager (LPG), Chennai Region, IOC, said that now, under the expanded PMUY-II, families who don’t have connections are being covered. “If they satisfy a list of 14 criteria, including not possessing agricultural land over 2.5 acres, they do not have someone working in the government and do not own a 2/3/4 wheeler among others, they would qualify for the scheme,” he said.

To bring in more families under the Ujjwala scheme, distributors in rural areas were directed to go to villages and conduct house-wise surveys and get KYC details, including bank and Aadhaar details.

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