Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) :Now in Panchayat Level
Bhubaneswar .07.09.2016 (By Biswaranjan Mishra)- Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) the flagship scheme of Govt. Of India for social change and women empowerment was launched by Sri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 1st may 2016 at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh and In Odisha by Sri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Union Minister of Tribal Affairs & Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble MoS (i/c) Petroleum and Natural Gas on 20.06.2016.The scheme has been launched in priority states with low LPG penetration.The scheme envisages LPG connection to women of BPL families with a contribution of Rs. 1600/- per connection from Govt. of India. Sri Dharmendra Pradhan Hon’ble MoS (i/c) Petroleum and Natural Gas also intervened with the LPG stove manufacturers to reduce the cost of Stoves to make it affordable and thereby provide an affordable stove at Rs 990/- to these beneficiaries. In order to make the scheme more attractive to the beneficiaries EMI option has also been given for purchase of Stove & 1st refill which will be recovered in the subsidy amount transferred to the beneficiary when receiving refill cylinders.
The scheme envisaged is one which touches the heart of the Women in our country and is one among the many schemes launched by Government Of India with a central theme of “Sabka Saath sabka Vikaas”.New connections were released in public functions across the state in order to educate & popularise the scheme and spread awareness among the intended beneficiaries.For this purpose block level launches were planned and the same commenced from 11.07.2016. Oil Marketing Companies conducted the programs in all the 314 blocks of the state and completed the same on 31.08.2016. A total of 320 programmes was organized during the period which covered all the 314 blocks apart from functions in NACs , Municipalities among others. These could be successfully conducted in spite of disruptions in few blocks like Athagarh,Nimapada,Parlekhamudi & some blocks of Nawrangpur, Ganjam & Malkangiri Districts when OMCs had to request concerned agencies and police protection to ensure conduct of programs.
The chief guests for these programs included School/College Teachers/Principal, Retired Government Employees ,Bank Officers, Lawyers, Doctors, Media, Engineers, Ex Servicemen ,Social Workers etc apart from freedom fighters etc. Seven exclusive block launches were conducted during 15th August 2016 to 17th August 2016 in which the freedom fighters were felicitated and they were the Chief Guests keeping the theme during the 70th year of independence when their “sacrifices were to be remembered.( YAAD KARO QURBANI).Apart from these guests OMCs were honoured with the presence of Union Ministers, Sri Jual Oram Honble Minister – Tribal Affairs, Sri Manoj Sinha Honble Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Communications, Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways and Sri C.R. Chaudhary Hon’ble Minister Of State Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution during these programs about 15000 new LPG connections under the scheme were released at the venue itself in the august presence of more than 55000 people. During the program the feedback and the expressions of joy in receiving the new LPG connections among the women folk inspires all involved to empower every household. In the state of Odisha OMCs have released 2,01,344 New LPG connection under PMUY and have processed 3,47,478 New LPG connections under the scheme for release.
Sri Dharmendra Pradhan Hon’ble MoS (I/c) P &NG has conveyed that Public sector oil companies’ drive to make liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) available in underserved areas and create new markets for the clean cooking fuel is not aimed at making profits, but an attempt at empowering women. He has been personally monitoring the release of New LPG Connections in Odisha.After his taking Over in May 2014 OMCs have been able to release more than 16 lakh LPG Connections in the state and have been able to improve LPG penetration levels from a paltry 26 % to more than 40 %.The Current National average is 64 %.It has been the vision of Sri Dharmendra Pradhan Hon’ble MoS (I/c) P &NG that the state of Odisha reaches a LPG penetration of minimum 70 % with a customer strength of more than 75 lakhs by December 2018.To achieve this he has set a target of release of 30 lakhs new LPG Connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and another 10 lakhs under normal release (APL Category) by December 2018. He strongly believes that Energy economy and women’s empowerment are closely linked. LPG is a source of clean fuel to millions of poor households in the country and an effective tool for empowering women from poor households and for bringing about social change. According to studies and experts Switching to LPG for cooking brings immense health benefits. A typical biomass cook stove releases 400 cigarettes per hour equivalent of smoke. The message was also conveyed by Sri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at Paradip in February 2016 during the function held to dedicate the Oil Refinery to the nation there.
Oil Marketing Companies are fully geared up to achieve the set objective as per the vision of Government Of India. It has been planned to conduct PMUY functions closer to the beneficiaries to educate general public about the scheme as well as safe usage of LPG with involvement of OMC officials .The insurance is also part of these LPG connections. During these programs, video on importance of conversion to cleaner fuels and safe handling of LPG will be shown and safety leaflets distributed among the participants. OMCs would welcome positive contributions from all citizens with the motto of serving the needy.It is proposed to distribute new LPG Connections only during such functions as the beneficiaries will be explained the proper and safe usage of LPG. Moreover such distribution brings transparency in the system. Sri Dharmendra Pradhan ,Honble MOS(I/c),P & NG has categorically conveyed that OMCs & the LPG distributor should ensure that there are no agents & middlemen operating and the beneficiary and the OMCs/Distributor should have a direct Customer relationship. OMCs have taken steps to publicise the same apart from conveying the message during the LPG Connection release functions.
PMUY is a transformational scheme for social change and the conversion to LPG is aimed at empowering women, not profits. LPG is a source of clean fuel for poor families and an effective tool for enabling social changeOMCs would request active support from one and all to ensure that the women of Odisha are benifitted from the scheme and a change in both their lifestyle and health leads to real empowerment of women.