Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said a target has been set to provide LPG connections to 30 lakh BPL women in the state in the next three years. Besides, 10 lakh people in the non-BPL category would also be provided LPG.

“At present 33 out of 100 families in Odisha have LPG connections and efforts are on to increase the number of families to 75 in the next three years so that the women do not have to waste their time in the collection of firewood from the forest. This apart, using LPG will ensure environment protection. The Centre has decided to implement its unique scheme all over the country in the next three years,” he told media persons after launching the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Ainthapali here today.

Talking about the availability of LPG cylinders in the state, Pradhan said at present the state has nearly 6.5 lakh metric tonnes of bottling capacity. “A decision has been taken to increase the bottling plant capacity in Jatni, Balasore and Jharsuguda. Keeping the market demand of the LPG in the next 30-40 years, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) will set up a LPG bottling plant on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will set up a LPG bottling plant in Jeypore in Koraput district and Balangir district respectively,” he informed.

The Union minister further said his ministry has decided to increase the number of distributors in the state

“At present, there are 565 LPG distributors in Odisha. Besides, 180 more distributors have been selected and they would be provided permission letters to set up distribution centres in their respective locality in the next two months. This apart, the process to open 250 new LPG distribution centres in Odisha by the end of this year would begin very soon. My ministry has decided to open at least 1000 LPG distribution centres in the state. We will open more centres, if necessary,” the PNG minister said.

Pradhan said a LPG terminal jetty would be constructed at Paradip port. Besides, LPG would be brought from Paradip IOCL refinery. Emphasis would be given on the availability of LPG in Odisha market, distributors and new LPG connections.

he said the ministry is all set to introduce new rules to check black marketing of LPG.

“Earlier, the black marketing of LPG was done through fake registration. Taking note of rampant black marketing, the ministry had made bank account, Aadhar card, consumer number mandatory for registration. Through this new rule, the ministry has found nearly three and half crore fake LPG registrations in the last two years and saved about Rs 21,000 crore. To further streamline the process, the ministry is planning to introduce unified tax for commercial and domestic LPG so that there is no scope for black marketing,” Pradhan pointed out.