Hyderabad: Telangana, which consumes about 4,000 to 5,000 kilolitres of kerosene every month supplied through Public Distribution System (PDS), may soon follow other southern States in becoming kerosene-fuel free.
According to Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director Rahul Bharadwaj, the State-run oil companies have already stopped supplying kerosene through PDS for use as cooking fuel in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He was addressing a press conference here on Thursday where he announced the implementation of Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Telangana from April 14.
The PMUY envisages supplying LPG cooking gas cylinders to all Below Poverty Line (BPL) families to make their homes smoke-free and reduce burden of searching for firewood on such families.
Once Telangana achieves full coverage of domestic LPG cooking gas connections, the oil companies will stop supplying kerosene under PDS in the State too, he said. According to a Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation official, currently, about 85 lakh BPL families holding ration cards are supplied kerosene in the State, but in restricted amounts of up to one litre per family per month. Of these families, about 63 lakh already have LPG connections.
Bharadwaj said the PMUY would be launched in Telangana at Suryapet by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
As per current estimates, about 20 lakh BPL families in the State are eligible for the PMUY but the final potential beneficiary numbers are still to be computed, he said.
Under the scheme, the three State-run oil companies — IOC, BPCL and HPCL — will pick up the Rs 1,600 initial connection charges which includes the security deposit for a 14.2 kg domestic LPG cylinder and pressure regulator, cost of connecting hose, installation charges payable to distributors and cost of a Domestic Gas Consumer Card booklet.
The beneficiaries will also have the option of having the oil companies recoup the cost of purchase of a gas stove from the dealer and the cost of the first cylinder through the subsidy amount that is deposited in a beneficiary’s bank account. Bharadwaj explained that the recovery process would kick in only after a family orders its seventh refill. For the first six refills, the beneficiaries will have the subsidy amount, deposited in their bank accounts.
The Prime Minister has set the deadline of May 5 to make 20,158 villages smoke-free. Of these, Telangana has 73 villages where families will be provided with LPG connections.
Telangana, he said, has a total of 94.36 lakh LPG connections with a near 100 per cent coverage in urban areas with rural areas following with 60 to 70 per cent coverage.