A big change in the health of families would be seen through the 'Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana' as it would save the beneficiary from inhaling smoke for an hour, equal to 400 cigarettes, while cooking at home on firewood, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here today.
Quoting from a survey on domestic pollution, he said it was "unfortunate" that Jharkhand had so many of such kitchens, even though gas connections came to the country around 1955.
Addressing the gathering at the launch of the scheme by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Pradhan lauded the chief minister for giving free gas connections with stoves and predicted that the state's fool-proof 'yojana' would enable 23 lakh poor families get LPG connections in the coming years.
He said the government was also mulling pipeline gas in the next three-four years in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hazaribagh, Bokaro and Giridih districts.
Pradhan lauded the state government for launching Direct-Benefit-Transfer (DBT) in kerosene sale in four districts -- Chatra, Jamtara, Hazaribagh and Khunti -- as the "first" in the country.
Referring to state Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs Minister Saryu Rai's statement that Rs 700 crore could be saved with the introduction of DBT, the Union minister said it would certainly be discussed at the international stock exchanges.
In his speech, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Sudarshan Bhagat said the Ujjwala Yojana would help protect the environment and it covered "women's dignity".
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Pradhan claimed that six lakh new gas connections were given in the last two-and-a-half years, adding that there was a plan to add 27 lakh BPL families with the Ujjwala Yojana.
He said the Sindri fertiliser plant would be revived, adding that it has been decided that the pipeline yojana would be through Bokaro.
The pipeline would go from Allahabad to Haldia, he said, adding that Rs 50,000 crore would be spent to lay the pipeline for 2,500 km.