The Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitrak (RGGLV) Yojana for providing gas connections to rural consumers rolled out in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday with the Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Jitin Prasada, stating that the Central scheme would enable the penetration of LPG in the rural areas, and thus offset the shortage of kerosene.

Mr. Prasada said if the rural people were not getting their quota of kerosene the fault is in the public distribution system of the State Government. As far as the Central Government is concerned it does allot the quota of kerosene to the State, but it has no role in the fixation of price and is certainly not accountable for the shortage of the commodity, the Union Minister said.

Simultaneously, Mr. Prasada, who presided over a review meeting of the oil marketing companies in the northern region here on Wednesday, ruled out increase in the prices of LPG cylinders and said, neither would subsidy be reduced, which came to Rs. 300 per cylinder. “It is the objective of the UPA Government to ensure that the ‘aam aadmi' is not made to bear the financial burden and is simultaneously assured of regular supply of quality fuel.”

He said nine lakh LPG connections were given in Uttar Pradesh from April 2009 to February 2010 with the all India figure for the same period being 75 lakh.

Mr. Prasada announced that a pilot project would be launched in Meerut in Western U.P. in September for checking pilferage in gas cylinders. An anti-pilferage device would be installed in the cylinders in Meerut and gradually this would be introduced in the rest of the State, the Minister said. He added that in the next couple of months multi-functioning regulators would be installed in the cylinders displaying their weight and the quantity of LPG.

He said in view of the shortage of LPG, particularly during the winters when the consumption goes up, the oil companies have decided to go in for capacity building and new infrastructure. Another decision pertained to the introduction of SMS booking of gas in other cities, apart from Delhi and Kochi, which have been taken up in the first phase.

Meanwhile, six rural consumers from Lakhimpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Sitapur and Shahjahanpur districts were given gas connections under RGGLV scheme through lottery.