Shahdol: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) on Monday at Shahdol in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Minister of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection and Labour Om Prakash Dhurve, Gauri Shankar Shejwar, Minister for Forests, Planning, Statistics, Madhya Pradesh, Gyan Singh, Minister, Tribal Welfare and Scheduled Castes Welfare, Rampal Singh, Minister, Public Works Department, Madhya Pradesh graced the occasion. Other distinguished guests included Members of Parliament, Members of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Council besides senior officials from MoPNG, Oil Industry and State Government. Women from BPL families from the state were handed over LPG connections by the dignitaries to mark the launch of the PMUY in the state. Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is an excellent scheme and it fulfills the vision of Prime Minister to provide clean fuel to the BPL families and is a boon to women to experience cooking without smoke. He thanked Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for accepting his suggestion of commencing this scheme in Madhya Pradesh from Shahdol. He also announced various welfare schemes of the State Government.

Addressing the large gathering, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (I/C), MoPNG explained the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and informed that the scheme would impact the lives of women from BPL families in a major way by reducing the drudgery of cooking with polluting fuels and go a long way in reducing indoor pollution and other health related problems being faced by them. He said that the main mantra of PMUY is Mahilaon Ko Mila Samman, Swacch Indhan-Behtar Jeevan. Under this scheme, 5 Cr LPG connections will be provided to BPL households. Over the next three years, Rs. 8000 crore will be provided by Govt. of India with a matching contribution of Rs. 8000 crore by the OMCs. The later will be utilized for extending interest-free loans to such poor families. The PMUY scheme is aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in rural India with more clean and efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). The scheme aims at empowering women and protecting their health and reducing the number of deaths in India due to use of unclean cooking fuels.

Pradhan further added that the Government aims to add 50 lakh new connections in the state of Madhya Pradesh in the next three years, of which 35 lakh connections will be provided to BPL families under PMUY, and 15 lakh connections to non BPL families.. This will increase the present LPG connections from 70 lakhs to 120 lakhs in the State. He stressed that enumeration and distribution of LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will be undertaken in a transparent manner. He informed that there has been a growth of about 32 per cent in the LPG penetration in the state of Madhya Pradesh during last two years (about 23 lakh new connections).