6.03 lakh prospective beneficiaries identified

Around 3.26 lakh liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections and stoves, accounting for 58 per cent of the target, have been distributed free in the State.

Though a target of 5.6 lakh connections was originally fixed, the authorities have identified about 6.03 lakh prospective beneficiaries. The Central government too has allotted six lakh connections to Tamil Nadu for implementing the scheme.

Ever since the distribution scheme was launched in January 2007, 29 lakh connections were distributed till the end of November 2010 and the State government spent Rs.661 crore.

As part of the scheme, the government bears the cost of giving connections and double-burner gas stoves. This year, it set apart Rs.140 crore.

According to the district-wise status as on December 7, Tirupur stood first in giving connections. Ninety per cent of the target was achieved and 13,543 connections were given. Perambalur registered 88 per cent (4,692 connections given); Nagapattinam – 85 per cent (11,448); Madurai – 83 per cent (26,559); Dharmapuri – 82 per cent (11,475); Salem – 81 per cent (18,864) and Tirunelveli – 80 per cent (16,480). Chennai South and North districts were among the districts that had achieved less than 50 per cent of their targets. In Chennai North, 6,877 connections were distributed, accounting for 40 per cent and in South, 3,043 connections, 20 per cent.

In Coimbatore, 8,565 connections were given (40 per cent) and in Tiruchi, 11,553 connections (50 per cent).

Swaran Singh, Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies), says his department plans to ensure that the proposed number of six lakh connections will be covered by January-end.

Under another scheme of the government of distributing colour television sets free, 1.12 crore sets were distributed in four phases.