Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said it was unfortunate that people had to wait decades for basics like hospitals, roads and electricity, as he launched the second phase of the Ujjwala cooking gas scheme in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
“We are entering 75th year of independence and when we see the progress made in the past seven and a half decades, we realise that certain conditions and situation could have been changed decades ago,” Modi said after launching Ujjwala 2.0 (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana) and distributing LPG connections at a programme at Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region via video conferencing.
Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri and state chief minister Yogi Adityanath attended the programme with the latter making a token distribution of LPG connections on the occasion.
The prime minister, who interacted with Ujjwala scheme’s five beneficiaries including one from Gorakhpur, used the occasion to highlight his government’s work on providing basic needs to the society. “Will our energy waste in fulfilling basic needs? How can a family or a society progress and realise big dreams if it has to struggle for basic needs?” he asked.
“Our sisters and daughters will be able to contribute to the nation building only if their problems of kitchen and home are taken care of. We have worked on mission mode to resolve such issues,” the PM added.
Modi referred to the upcoming Raksha Bandhan festival to connect with women, saying he was delighted to get blessings of his sisters well in advance.
Keeping up with his recent messages on sports in the wake of the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, the prime minister used the occasion to connect with the people of Bundelkhand, saying Ujjwala 2.0 was being launched from the land of brave, Mahoba, adding that the region is home to legendary hockey player Major Dhyanchand after whom the highest award for sportspersons has been recently named and it will inspire millions of the youth. He said by their exemplary performance at the Tokyo Olympics, the country’s sportspersons have given an indication about the future of sports.
Giving statistical details about achievements of his government, he said under the first phase of Ujjwala scheme LPG connections have been given to 80 million women from the poor and deprived sections of society. The prime minister said India was close to achieving 100% gas connection coverage, adding that the number of gas connections distributed in the past seven years was higher than the total connections in the country till 2014.
“We saw how much this helped during the Covid-19 pandemic. When there was no movement and businesses were closed, crores of poor families were given free gas cylinders for many months,” he said.
“In the last six years, more than 11,000 new LPG distribution centers have opened across the country. Uttar Pradesh alone had less than 2,000 distribution centers in 2014. In UP now, there are 4,000 such centers giving employment to thousands of youths,” he added.
Elaborating on the scheme, Modi said in Ujjwala 2.0 a self-declaration of address will work to get a LPG connection in other states as well. He said efforts were also being made to supply piped natural gas while expeditious work was being done to give PNG connections in UP and northeastern states at the earliest. The PM said a target to give PNG connections to 2.1 million households in over 50 districts of Uttar Pradesh has been set in the first phase. He added that efforts were also being made to boost use of CNG in transportation.
Stating that the World Biofuel Day on Tuesday was a reminder about the targets on clean energy front, he mentioned plans to promote “gobar dhan” – tapping cow dung for energy. Modi said India was close to achieving the target of 10% blending of ethanol in petrol and would aim for 20% blending in coming years. He added that vehicles will use 100% ethanol in future.
The prime minister said farmers from Uttar Pradesh will be benefitted the most with the option of making ethanol from sugarcane. He said ethanol worth ₹7 lakh crore was bought from producers last year. He said a number of units linked to ethanol and biofuel have come up in the state and plants were being set up in 70 districts to make compressed biogas. He also announced that three big complexes were coming up to make biogas from ‘parali’ including two at Badaun and Gorakhpur in UP and another at Bhatinda in Punjab.
Meanwhile, CM Adityanath said 15 million families in the state availed the benefit of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in its first phase.
“Six years ago, the prime minister launched the first phase of Ujjwala Yojana from Ballia district in eastern UP. In the first phase of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), 1.5 crore (15 million) families in Uttar Pradesh availed the benefit of the scheme,” he said.
Rajendra Chaudhary, spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party, said, “Mahoba has been chosen as the venue to launch the scheme in view of 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not indulge in politics of betrayal. Ujjawala has not helped the poor due to high cost of cylinder.”
Source: ArdorComm News Network has published the story with an edited headline with the rest of the news belonging to The Hindustan Times and PTI.