The Government has achieved its target of providing 1.5 crore free cooking gas (LPG) connections to poor households in less than 8 months. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUJ) aimed to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to BPL families in three years.
The target for the first year was set at 1.5 crore. The first year target has been “achieved within a span of less than 8 months and the scheme is being implemented now across 35 states/UTs,” an official statement said here.
A woman member of BPL family identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data is given a deposit free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection. The scheme was announced in the Budget for 2016-17 with an allocation of Rs 8,000 crore for three years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched PMUJ on May 1 from Balia in Uttar Pradesh. “14 states/UTs having LPG coverage less than the national average, hilly states of J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all North-East States are identified as priority states for implementing the scheme,” the statement said.
The top five states with maximum connections are UP (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh). These states constitutes nearly 75 per cent of the total connections released.
The households belonging to SC/ST constitute large chunk of beneficiaries with 35 per cent of the connections being released to them. “With the implementation of PMUY, the national LPG coverage has increased from 61 per cent (as on January 1) to 70 per cent (as on December 12, 2016),” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Mori, a tiny village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, on Thursday sealed its place on India’s digital map by transforming completely into a Smart Digital Village, in every sense of the term.
All the 1,189 households in the village with a population of 4,500 became fully digital as Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu finally launched the AP FiberNet project that will provide internet at a speed of 15 mbps, WiFi, a telephone connection and 250 cable television channels (using a triple-play set-top box) for a total price of Rs 149 per month.
The Rs 4,000 worth set-top box is being provided for a monthly installment of Rs 99. We will make Mori a model village for the entire country, the Chief Minister announced on the occasion.
Mori hitherto was known for its export of cashew nut but its digital transformation was ushered in by its
son of the soil Solomon N Darwin, Executive Director of Centre for Corporate Innovation, UC Berkeley in the USA. Mori also recently bagged the Swachh Village award at the national level after all the households got individual sanitary latrines and became open defecation-free.