“The LPG connections may have increased by 16.26% since this scheme was launched, but the use of cylinders increased to only 9.38% , which is lower than the rate recorded during 2014-2015, time when this scheme did not even exist.”
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which offers free gas connections to the people living in BPL; achieved it’s target magnificently since the time it has been launched. However, it is now failing in its objective of persuading households to stop using firewood and traditional biomass fuels that have the potential to cause respiratory diseases and other health hazardous.
3.3 crore families are been provided with the free gas connections: Modi
In an interview to TimesNow , Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained the purpose behind the scheme and said that his government has already provided 3.3 crore free gas connections to the BPL families and would complete their target of 5 crore free gas connections before the deadline.
“What will be the ease of living for a poor woman, who uses a stove to cook food and spends her entire life in that smoke? According to me, her ease of living is possible if I free her from that smoke. I took the big step of Ujjwala and provided gas to 3,30,00,000 families. I may even complete the target of 5 crore families before the deadline. This, in itself, is our step in the direction of ease of living,” Mr. Modi said.
People prefers to use wood over LPG as fuel:
Despite Ujjwala Yojana being an excellent idea, people still chooses to uses wood over LPG. They believe that it is cheaper to use wood than to refill the LPG gas. The LPG connections may have increased by 16.26% since this scheme was launched, but the use of cylinders increased to only 9.38%. This is lower than the rate recorded during 2014-2015, when this scheme did not even exist.
As per the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report of 2015-16, houses with LPG connections were using an average of 6.27 cylinders in a year. But after the scheme was launched, the number of cylinders used on average had come down to 5.6.
Reasons for it’s Failure:
The failure of this scheme is seen as the hurriedness by the government to implement this scheme. The government did not waited for the completion of the CRSIL report that carried out in 2015, to study why users were not abandoning biomass fuels for cleaner LPG cylinders.
From October’15 to December’15, CRSIL surveyed more than one lakh people without gas connections across 120 districts in 13 states. The result of this survey was submitted to the government in June 2016, three months after the Union cabinet hastily approved the details of the scheme in March and a month after Modi formally launched the scheme.
The result of this survey said that, 86% people does not use LPG because the price of installing a connection was to high. This report also states that, 83% people believe that the price of refill is too high. Besides long waiting time to get a refill for an empty LPG cylinder was the third-highest reason of the survey.
Meanwhile CRSIL report have highlighted the need to reduce the cost of refill. It also urges to the fact that the subsidies upon the LPG should be increased in order to meet the objective of this scheme.