Gujarat govt takes piped natural gas to rural BPL families

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on July 05, 2018

Launches PNG Sahay Yojana to complement Centre’s Ujjwala scheme

For the BPL (Below Poverty Line) families in Gujarat, it is going to be a direct jump from conventional kerosene or firewood cooking to a green fuel, bypassing the ‘cylinder era’.

Thanks to the Gujarat government’s newly launched PNG Sahay Yojana, which is seen as a supplementary scheme to the Centre’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, city gas distribution (CGD) players in the State will give PNG (piped natural gas) connections to BPL families located in their respective pipeline network areas.

The State government will provide a subsidy of ₹1,600 per connection, while a refundable deposit of ₹5,000 will be divided into 100 EMIs of ₹50 each. Also, unlike normal PNG connections, BPL families are not charged the minimum billing amount. The State subsidy will be directly paid to the CGD player.

The scheme, which was announced on ‘Gujarat Day’ on May 1, is estimated to bring down the fuel cost for a BPL family by about ₹200 a month, besides making their cooking safer and ‘greener’.

The scheme was launched in Bharuch, while the full-fledged allotment of connections will start taking place in a week’s time.

“This scheme is aimed at promoting an alternative clean fuel that is safe, non-hazardous, and reduces the time cost for women, too,” said Amrut Patel, Director of Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Gujarat.

The scheme will cover eight municipal corporation areas and 24 other district headquarters in phase one with a financial outlay of about ₹72 crore.

Gujarat is the first State to utilise its existing gas grid of over 25,000 km to take PNG into semi-urban and rural areas. Two of the six CGD players — Gujarat Gas and Adani Gas — have agreed to participate in the scheme.

Big challenge

“Supplying PNG to rural and non-urban areas is a big challenge,” J N Singh, Chief Secretary of the State, told Businessline. “The idea is to provide infrastructure and State support to the people to increase the penetration of clean fuel.”

Patel was quick to clarify that the State’s PNG scheme will not overlap with the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme. “Rather, it complements it — in the Ujjwala scheme, certain categories of BPL families are not covered because of the data limitations. The State scheme plugs the gaps,” he said.

Published on July 04, 2018

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