Poor households in J&K to get free cooking gas

Srinagar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday inaugurated a scheme to provide free LPG, or cooking gas, connection to poor households in Jammu and Kashmir and said the government is going to release one lakh connections in the next 15 days.

“We are going to immediately release one lakh LPG connections during the next 15 days,” he said.

“This government at the centre released 2 lakh connections during the last 2 years in J&K, vis a vis 5 lakh connections released during the previous 8 years in the state by previous governments,” he added.

Pradhan also said that a bottling plant would be constructed at Kargil, while the capacity of the Leh bottling plant would be augmented. The state now has 4 bottling plants.

The scheme was launched here by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh was also present at the event.

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, envisages providing LPG connections free of cost to 5 crore poor households by 2019 and forms part of a larger programme of adding 10 crore new consumers to make clean fuel available to all households in the country, a petroleum ministry statement said in New Delhi.

The scheme aims to wean women in poor households away from ill-effects of smoke from traditional cooking fuels.

The government has budgeted Rs 2,000 crore for the scheme, expected to cover 1.5 crore housholds in the current fiscal.

Budgetary provision of Rs 6,000 crore would be made for 3.5 crore new connections under the scheme in the next two financial years.