Odisha shines as a bright spot in Ujjwala Yojana scoring 8 crore today!

The State has been ranked 6th in the country in releasing LPG connections under PMUY. And Odisha also figured in top-10 refilling State nationally

Bhubaneswar: With the country achieving the 8-crore LPG target mark nearly 8-months ahead of the schedule on Saturday under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), it is heartening to note Odisha figured among the top – 6 states that played a stellar role in making Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious programme realise this remarkable feat.

And it is the tribal and backward districts in Odisha that seem to have given a virtual thumbs-up to the Ujjwala Yojana. The big revelation is not only in LPG penetration, the tribal and backward districts in Odisha were on the  forefront in refills too.

According to the data available with Union Petroleum Ministry,  Odisha having received over 47.18 lakh connections under PMUY till August last this year, finished sixth overall in the country with regard to  LPG connections granted under the scheme. The states like UP, West Bengal, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan are only ahead of Odisha.

The LPG penetration that had been mere 26 per cent prior to the launch of PMUY in 2015, hovers at around 72 per cent in 2018-19 in Odisha. The State’s total LPG connections, including PMUY, have touched nearly 85 lakh by August end 2019.

Not only connections, the data with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) here have put the refill rate in the State at around 64 per cent. And PMUY users have taken around 3-4 refills in a year. Odisha has been ranked at number 7 nationally, where Ujjwala consumers have sought 3rd refill.

As Odisha has been ranked along with BIMARU states (Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and UP) in the indicator of poverty,  the refill rate of the State is higher than Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand but is behind Bihar, MP, Rajasthan and UP. Significantly, Odisha’s 13 of the 30 districts are tribal dominated.

An analysis shows that in LPG penetration the top-10 districts are tribal and Scheduled Castes dominated districts. In 2018-19, while Balangir topped the LPG penetration chart, Bhadrak followed in second rank. Other districts in the descending order are: Khandamal, Nabarangpur, Jajpur, Nuapada, Nayagarh and Kalahandi.

Even, the refill rate in Malkangiri, State’s remotest and poorest district, has been over 26 per cent. The latest data showed refill rate rising by around 44 per cent in 2017-18.

The achievement under PMUY in tribal districts seems overwhelming, when a study by CRISIL(Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) showed that in Odisha the free firewood used as cooking fuel stands at 26 per cent of total fuel used.