The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has often been touted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as one of its historic schemes which has enabled rural households get access to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections. However, the truth is far different from this claim.
According to a new study from the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (r.i.c.e), around 85 per cent of Ujjwala beneficiaries in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still use chulhas with firewood or dung cakes for cooking.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ujjwala scheme on May 1, 2016 from the ground of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. Under the scheme, 5 crore women, who came under the category of BPL and were living in rural areas were to be provided gas connection in three years. The objective was to persuade them to stop using firewood and traditional biomass fuels that have the potential to cause respiratory diseases.
The Hindu reported that according to the central government data, more than six crore households have received a gas connection under the scheme and as per the r.i.c.e study, 76 per cent of households in these four states do own an LPG connection now. However, more than 98 per cent of these households also own chulhas.
As per their study, only 27 per cent of these households exclusively use a gas stove while 36 per cent exclusively use chulhas. 37 per cent were reported to be using both the chulha and the gas stove.