Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 1:
The first international conference on LPG, organized by Research & Development Initiative along with leading public sector oil companies – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation — was inaugurated by Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu today in Odisha capital in presence of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The two day-long conference is being attended by more than 300 delegates from more than 10 countries. More than two dozen speakers and delegates from various countries including Brazil, Guatemala, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Cameroon and Sri Lanka are participating in it.
Inaugurating the conference, Murmu recounted her own experience as a village dweller with no access to LPG and lauded the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Pradhan in ensuring the access of LPG to the poorest of poor in the rural areas of the country.
She emphasized that the intervention of present government in LPG sector will result in significant improvement in the convenience of women. She expressed confidence that this international conference will provide a suitable platform to improve the LPG distribution network.
Dharmendra Pradhan emphasized the changes heralded under Modi. He stressed upon changes in the narrative of LPG, which is being seen as a catalyst of social change and not as a source of profit. He further discussed several initiatives taken by Union Government to ensure the reach of LPG to households of rural India which is currently suffering very badly by indoor air pollution.
He informed the gathering that currently 74 million people are using about 24 million MT of LPG through a network of 18000 distributors across the nook and corner of the country. He complimented the officers of PSUs and all stakeholders for having taken effective steps for making LPG affordable and hence accessible to the poorer. He expressed confidence that the conference will provide necessary roadmap to learn and adopt the best practices from across the globe.
Earlier, in the inaugural session, UN Assistant Secretary General & Deputy Executive Director UN Women Lakshmi Puri elaborated the vision of United Nations to provide clean and green sustainable energy to everyone. She appreciated the efforts taken by PNG ministry in ensuring the energy access to most vulnerable society of rural villages which will impact the lives of women and girls living in the villages.
The seminar will also deliberate on the need for an LPG enabled household, problems arising due to absence of LPG connection, the usage of traditional bio mass cooking fuels and their impact on both health and environment.