N. Ravi Kumar

Three lakh poor families will benefit in the current fiscal

CHENNAI: Three lakh poor families will be provided with free LPG connections and gas stoves in the current financial year under a scheme to be launched by the Tamil Nadu Government on Pongal Day.

One of the poll promises on which the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rode to power, the scheme is not, however, restricted to the poor.

A government order says it has been "decided to provide free LPG connections and stoves with two burners to all families not having LPG connections over the next five years."

Sources in national oil companies who attended a meeting convened by the Civil Supplies Department on Tuesday, said while poor families were the target group, the scheme was not meant exclusively for them.

The committees constituted for selecting beneficiaries under the free colour television set scheme would also select the three lakh families. Initially, the scheme will be implemented in villages where the free colour television scheme had not been launched. The beneficiary should be a woman and her name should figure in the ration card. Neither she nor any of her family members should possess an LPG connection.

The kitchen in the beneficiary's house should have a platform, important from safety perspective. If such a facility does not exist, the beneficiary should provide for it. The beneficiaries would draw less kerosene under the public distribution system. They would also be forbidden from transferring the connection for three years. A single cylinder connection, rubber tube and gas stove would be provided free. The Government would remit Rs.950 towards security deposit for the connection and the pressure regulator for each connection to the oil company. LPG distributors' associations decided to waive the administrative, installation and hot plate inspection charges totalling Rs.200 a connection. The GO said Rs.60 lakh would be sanctioned to the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation for implementing the scheme.