“We have to convince women about benefits of LPG”

Ashutosh Jindal , joint secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas talks about the problems in distribution of LPG connection.

sakshi

Sakshi Kuchroo | November 4, 2016 | New Delhi


#rural India   #Narendra Modi   #UP   #Uttar Pradesh   #Ballia   #India   #ministry of petroleum and natural gas  
Ashutosh Jindal , joint secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas talks about the problems in distribution of LPG connection.
Ashutosh Jindal , joint secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas talks about the problems in distribution of LPG connection.

Many women in Ballia, UP, say it is difficult for them to collect even a small amount for refilling gas. 
We frankly don’t have a clear answer to that. But it is firstly important for us to convince the women and other people and educate them about the benefits of LPG. Once they are convinced they will find a way to save money. There are people from these villages who would rather spend money on cow dung than on a gas connection. But we are getting a feedback where women are saying that they will try their best to save money and collect about '500 a month.

 
Many women still use chulha despite having a gas connection. 
We are working on that. We have some cultural issues too. We have constantly been in touch with the officials who are working on the ground. There are problems like women refusing to use the gas during the month of Shravan. So we can’t force them to start using it immediately. But we are trying our best to convince them. Also, it’s been just three months, so we need to give them time to adapt to this new development in their lives.
 
A few gas agencies claim they don’t provide connections to women living in kutcha houses as it poses the threat of fire. But in Ballia, connections were provided in such homes too. What about safety?
LPG is heavier than air. So, if you have a thatched ceiling but a mud wall, then there is no harm. LPG does not go up like other gases; it goes down. But if you have a thatched wall along with a thatched roof, then that is risky. And yes, we definitely have to be careful while providing connections and we’ll work on that.  
The local distributors say the SECC 2011 survey is old and many eligible women are still struggling to get the connection. Your comments?
SECC data was collected in 2011. It comes under the ministry of rural development. A proper procedure was followed whereby the list had to be first approved by the gram sabha. This entire work was done by the district administration and state administration and went on till 2012-13. The data is quite old but this is the most recent we have. We are now trying to find ways to update this data and rectify it because there are a lot of errors. We have also received a lot of complaints.
 
What kind of complaints?
There is mismatch of names. Their allotted TIN is missing. Some families were not there earlier [during the survey]. Some of them might have migrated now. There are other problems as well. For example, if two brothers have separated then the other cannot avail this facility because a connection has already been issued to that family. We are trying to update these cases.
 
How is the government trying to update the data?
In 2011, our enumerators went door to door. They were provided with tablets to store names. After making a list of these names, a procedure of claim and objection was followed, where the gram sabha voted for the names enlisted and then it was approved. The idea is to keep it transparent. And we will probably be doing the same next time as well and hopefully soon. We are working on it closely with the ministry of rural development.
 
Why can’t anybody with a BPL card claim the connection?
Just before Ujjwala was launched, we had come up with a scheme called corporate social responsibility fund scheme, where the BPL families could avail new LPG connection without paying security deposit of one cylinder and one pressure regulator. It was given on the basis of their BPL cards only. But we received a lot of complaints where we got to know that the real BPL families never got the connection and people who didn’t come under the BPL category were enjoying the benefits. So, that’s how we decided to go for the SECC 2011 data, which was the most recent data we had. But yes, I admit, it needs to be updated. But then again no data is perfect.

Local distributors complain of political pressure in providing LPG connections. Have you received any such complaints?
We have received some complaints verbally but the point is that anybody can apply. We have a strong system so it is nothing like anyone can pressurise. We are moving strictly according to the system.
 
What is your target and in how many states has the scheme been implemented?
The scheme was launched in May, and in three months we have provided the connection to 20.5 lakh people. We are giving priority to states which have lower LPG coverage than the national average. So we are focusing more on states like Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc. where remote areas in districts like Ballia are of primary importance. In Gujarat we have reached areas where there is dire need of LPG connections. We launched the scheme from Ballia as it is in eastern Uttar Pradesh and is one of the most under-covered parts of the country. Till now, we have covered 22 states where the scheme is being implemented, out of which 14 have lower LPG coverage.

sakshi@governancenow.com

(The interview appears in November 1-15, 2016 edition of Governance Now)

 

Comments

 

Other News

Reopening: Old guidelines extended to November

As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in India, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to continue the Guidelines for Reopening, which have already done away with nearly all of Lockdown restrictions in areas outside the containment zones. The MHA issued an order Monday and e

India records lowest new cases in three months

After a scare in September with the number of daily fresh cases inching above 90,000, India seems to have gone down the peak, with several key parameters giving cause for relief just in time for the annual festive season. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 36,500 (

India’s case fatality rate lowest since Janata curfew

The annual festive season has brought good news for India: the country’s case fatality ratio has gone down to touch 1.5 percent, and the number of deaths per day has dipped below 500 in the 24 hours to Monday morning – bringing the situation closer to the number before the lockdown was imposed

“Script is the real hero”

Basking in the success of the new web series, ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad  Mehta Story ’,on SonyLIV, the OTT platform from Sony stable where the lead actors are new faces, NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks, has said that the script is the new hero. He credited the s

India’s active cases below 10% of total cases for three days

India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases continues unabated. The number of Active Cases has remained below 10% of the total cases for the last three days, suggesting only one in 10 cases is active Covid-19 patient. The active cases comprise merely 9.29% of the total positive c

Cabinet clears bonus for non-gazetted employees

The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) for 2019-20 to 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, and ESIC, with a financial implication of Rs.2,791 crore.

India Police Virtual Summit and Awards 2020

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter