Focus :GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
- A parliamentary committee has said only three States and five Union Territories have become kerosene-free.
- Government in September last met the target of eight crore LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana on September 2020.
Details of the report
- The report of the Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum, which was tabled last week, points to the gap between the continuing use of kerosene and the claim of 97% LPG coverage nationwide.
- The committee said that there are poor households in the general category in urban and semi-urban localities that also need to be covered.
- The committee, therefore, recommends that the scheme be extended to poor households in urban and semi-urban slum areas, and achieve a higher LPG coverage of the population by providing connections to households that do not have LPG
- Only three States — Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh — and the Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar Island and Puducherry have become kerosene-free.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 1 May 2016 to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of BPL families.
What was the need for PMUY Scheme?
- In India, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG). The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households.
- But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels.
- Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
- Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children.
- According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
Advantages of PMUY
- Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
- This measure will empower women and protect their health.
- It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking.
- It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.