Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) that have so far, provided 1.74 lakh free liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections under the Ujjwala 2.0 scheme in the State are looking to increase these numbers by targeting districts with less than 90% LPG coverage.
A total of 32.43 lakh beneficiaries were covered in the first phase of the Ujjwala scheme in Tamil Nadu.
“We are using the Aadhaar and family card databases and correlating it with the 2011 Census data to ensure maximum coverage. We are concentrating on districts, including Villupuram, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Dindigul and Dharmapuri,” said an official source in Indian Oil Corporation, which has provided 1.16 lakh connections under the scheme.
The scheme was launched in April 2021 to provide LPG connections to households under various categories, including island dwellers, SC/ST, most backward classes, forest dwellers, tea and ex-tea garden tribes. These houses should not posses any other LPG connection. The households should have some document such as family card or Aadhaar card and have a bank account linked to the Aadhaar.
The beneficiaries would get a gas stove, Suraksha safety hose, regulator and one LPG cylinder for free. They would not have to pay any deposit amount as in regular connections. The cost is borne by the Central government.
Activists say there are more, who need connections.
Oil companies have provided LPG connections to over 95% of households in the State. This is according to data from family cards and the Census of 2011. Activists however say that there are still people, who have not been covered under the public distribution system.
“There are families, like the Irulas or Kuravas, who in many cases do not have permanent homes even. They still depend on firewood collected from their surroundings. Our request is that the OMCs should collect data of such people from the respective District Collectors, who would be better informed,” said G. Sukumaran, Federation for People’s Rights.
He also said that provision of subsidy must be resumed for at least those holding connections under the Ujjwala scheme. “This would help prevent homemakers from reverting to use of firewood, which is detrimental for their health,” Mr. Sukumar added.