"To popularise the use of clean fuel for cooking among the rural population of the country, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has decided to celebrate April 20 as Ujjwala Diwas," said Executive Director, Gujarat, Indian Oil Corporation, S S Lamba, at a press meet here on Monday.
On that day, around 15,000 'LPG panchayats' will be held across the country under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), Lamba said.
"In Gujarat, distributors of Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) would organise 701 such LPG panchayats on April 20. Our target is to give around 70,000 new LPG connections by enrolling 100 beneficiaries at each of these 701 community gatherings" said Lamba, who is also the state level coordinator of oil marketing companies in Gujarat.
"LPG panchayat will serve as an interactive platform between existing customers, officials and those who are interested to switch to LPG. Each meeting is aimed at bringing together 500 women from nearby areas and thereby providing 100 new connections at each of these panchayats on that day," he said.
Since its launch in May 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, around 1.275 million LPG connections under the PMUY scheme have been provided to eligible BPL beneficiaries in Gujarat, where the total number of LPG connections stood at 8.5 million, he said.
He said as many as 35.8 million LPG connections have been provided to BPL families across the country since the programme was launched.
"When the scheme was launched in 2016, our target was 50 million connections, out of which, we have enrolled 35.8 million already. However, from this month, the target has been revised to 80 million, to be covered by 2020, due to the addition of seven new categories who can be covered under the scheme" said Lamba.