Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Jun 20:
Around 30 lakh women under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category will be provided with free LPG connection in the next three years, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said during the launching of Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Odisha’s Sambalpur today.
“Over the next 3 years, 40 lakh households will benefit on account of new connections. Out of the above, 30 lakh households belonging to BPL families will be given free LPG connections. The implementation of the scheme will be undertaken by organizing melas in various villages and beneficiaries would be identified based on SECC data, prepared by Odisha government,” Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the scheme was conceived by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a step towards empowering women belonging to poor households. Budgetary allocation has been made to provide poor women relief from smoke, drudgery and disease. The scheme will especially benefit women households situated in Eastern and North-Eastern states. Odisha, which has LPG penetration much below the national average, will be greatly benefited.
He added that in India the smoke from firewood, coal, dung cakes etc adversely affects the health of women as per World Health Organization Report smoke inhaled by women is equivalent to 400 cigarettes per hour.
PMUY was launched here today by Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram. In his remarks, Oram minister described it as a revolutionary step and is to be implemented in a transparent manner across the state.