Underlining the need of ensuring hassle-free availability of cooking gas for every household, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said the Coalition Government will open new LPG outlets every 15-20 km across the State.The Minister said the Government will also provide eight lakh free LPG connections to Below Poverty Line women till the end of 2018, with one lakh connections to be given out within this month.The Minister was addressing a mammoth gathering during the launch of Prime Minister Ujjwala Yogna (PMUY) in presence of Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh, Minister for Animal and Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Abdul Ghani Kohli, Deputy Chairman Legislative Council, Jahangir Mir, Member of Parliament, Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA Rajouri Qammer Choudhary, MLA Nowshera Ravinder Raina and MLC Vibodh Gupta.Highlighting the importance of the scheme, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said it has been designed for the welfare of poor people across the country for whom having an LPG connection at their homes remains a dream.
The Minister said the PMUY will benefit the poor, especially the rural women, "Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas for empowering rural women whose health remains at risk due to traditional ways of cooking which is also time-consuming," he said.Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said the PMUY is a new ray of hope for replacing centuries-old tradition of using unclean fuel for cooking purposes. He said the State Government will address non-availability of LPG with this scheme with eight lakh free connections being given to BPL women of Jammu and Kashmir till the end of 2018. Announcing the opening of new LPG outlets after every 15-20 kilometers in the state, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said the Government wants to provide clean fuel for cooking at the door steps. He said the target has been fixed to provide 100 percent population with LPG connections. "We are working to open new outlets and soon these will start operating, " the Minister said.
The Minister said District Ramban has 17 percent coverage of LPG, one of the lowest LPG connectivity in the country which was followed by Rajouri and Poonch areas."But our Government is working to provide 100 percent connectivity. There has been six percent growth in the LPG connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir which is testimony of the Government's vision towards providing clean fuel to public for avoiding health hazards," he said.Making commitment of providing LPG connection to every household in the State, Minister Abdul Ghani Kohli said that in next two years, no home in Jammu and Kashmir would be without LPG connection."The cooking gas connection will not only help reduce economic cost on each family but it will also help better healthcare of rural women,” he said.Speaking on the occasion, the Minister Lal Singh said the initiative, in line with creating smokeless villages across the country, has come as a moment of pride for the women in BPL households."Now our poor mothers and sisters will lead a smoke-free, less polluted, convenient and healthy life. The launch of this scheme will not only facilitate the rural people with clean fuel supply but will also reduce burden on the forest thereby enhancing the green cover”, he said.
The administration has identified 7923 and 7945 cases who will get free LPG connections in Poonch and Rajouri districts respectively.On the occasion, at least 2200 impoverished women beneficiaries were provided free LPG connections. The Minister also handed over cheque of Rs 16 lakh provided by the concerned oil company to the victim of LPG cylinder blast in Surankote last year.Director Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Jammu GS Chib, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Shabir Ahmed Bhat, Additional District Development Commissioner Rajouri A.S.Chib Joint Director FCS&CA Jammu Mansoor Aslam, Joint Controller Legal Metrology VS Sambyal and officers of Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation and BPCL were also present on the occasion.