Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and Department of Information and Public Relations, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that around 3 lakh LPG connections have been issued in J&K under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Minister said this at a function organised by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) at SKICC here today to distribute new connections under PMUY.
The scheme launched here September last by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is aimed at providing free gas connections to six lakh women in JK below poverty line (BPL) category.
Appreciating the implementation of PMUY in the State, the Minister said so far the scheme has reached to around 50% of the targeted population.
The Minister said he was apprehensive about the success of the scheme initially, however, the unwavering support from his staff and the oil companies helped in smooth implementation of the scheme. He informed so far under the scheme around three lakh gas connections were provided to females living BPL. The Minister said entire credit for the grand success of the scheme goes to the employees of FCS&CA, and oil companies as without their hard work the results at this short notice would not have been possible.
The Minister said there is a huge population living in far off villages of the State and some in cities itself who due to poverty are still forced to use the orthodox forms of fuel.
He said the fall out of the unclean fuel is clearly highlighted by World Health Organization’s report, which reads that in India around five lakh females using conventional forms of unclean fuel suffer with chronic chest diseases annually.
The Minister said he ensured that no politics is played during the implementation of the scheme so that the deserving people avail its benefits. He said this was the reason why he travelled extensively across the State to ensure that the benefit reaches to real people only.
Giving details about the PMUY scheme, the Minister said the beneficiaries would also get an insurance card. “In case of death due to gas mishap, the affected family would get a compensation of Rs 6 lakh, and if there is loss to property the family would be provided Rs 1 lakh,”, the Minister said.
He said after getting reports that some deserving people have not found their name in the beneficiary list, the issue was taken with up with the Centre, and a new scheme is coming for them soon.
“We will soon start PMUY plus scheme for those deserving whose name didn’t figure in the present six lakh list,” the Minister informed.
The Minister informed that the Government is working hard to bring “natural gas pipe line” from Bathinda, Punjab to JK so that the consumers can get gas through pipe in their homes like they receive water supply.
Expressing his gratitude to everyone affiliated with the distribution process, the Minister said that during last year’s unrest, the untiring efforts from FCS&CA employees and oil companies ensured hassle-free distribution process across the State.
The Minister said when all the shops in the valley were closed it was only employees of FCS&CA, and oil companies who without caring for their lives performed their duties to the fullest. He informed during over four months of unrest, around 22 lakh gas cylinders were distributed in the State.
The Minister said besides other departments, FCS&CA and the agencies affiliated to distribution process had to work tirelessly as they do not have the luxury of delivering their duties through remote mode.
“FCS&CA don’t have luxury to turn on a switch or open the tap. To ensure food grains, and other essential supplies reach to everyone our employees have to go out and reach to every far off corner of the State and they did it efficiently even in unrest months last year,” the Minister said.
Praising his employees, the Minister said that he has and will always have high regard for FCS&CA employees for their hard working attitude. He said before joining the department he was scared by many about the working of the department. However, after leading the department, the Minister said he realized it is a bunch of hard workers, whose work was duly recognized even by the Union Minister in parliament.
He said the credit for the successful implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the State primarily goes to FCS&CA employees only, who despite bearing the brunt from people in early days worked hard to make them understand the essence of the scheme.
Asking the employees to make conscious efforts to better their services, the Minister said they are holding a noble job of distributing food grains among the people and no lapse should be made in this regard.
The Minister in the end distributed gas vouchers among beneficiaries.
Secretary, FCS&CA, Shafiq Ahmad Raina, Director, FCS&CA Nissar Ahmad Wani, Senior Regional Manager, HPCL, and representatives from other oil companies were present in the function.