Updated: August 11, 2021 2:40:34 am
LAUNCHING THE second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), or Ujjwala 2.0, in Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly elections are scheduled early next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that migrant workers will be able to get a free gas connection on the basis of a “self-declaration”, without being required to submit additional documents as proof of address.
Addressing an event, via video conference, in Mahoba (Bundelkhand) where free connections were provided to some beneficiaries, Modi said migrant workers, including from Uttar Pradesh, find it difficult to submit address proof when they go to work in other states. Under Ujjwala 2.0, maximum benefit will be given to such families as they will only have to submit a “self-declaration”, he said.
“As we celebrate the 75th year of Independence this year and look at the progress in the past seven-and-a-half decades, we feel that some situations and conditions should have changed decades ago,” Modi said.
“For many fundamental needs such as roads, power, hospitals, cooking gas, schools, water and homes, the people of the country had to wait for decades. This is unfortunate and women suffered the most… When a family or a society struggles for basic facilities, how can it fulfil its big dreams?” he said.
Modi said when his government took charge in 2014, it became clear that a solution to such issues had to be found within a stipulated time. Only then could women leave their homes to contribute to nation-building, he said.
“So in the last six years, we worked on mission mode for solutions to all such problems,” he said in his televised address, as he listed some of his government’s schemes including the Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Modi said that in the first phase of the PMUY, 8 crore poor families, including from the Dalit and tribal communities, were given free cooking gas connections. “We saw how much this helped during the Covid-19 pandemic. When there was no movement and businesses were closed, crores of poor families were given free gas cylinders for many months,” he said.
He said the LPG infrastructure has expanded manifold in the country due to the Ujjwala scheme. “In the last six years, more than 11,000 new LPG distribution centres have opened across the country. Uttar Pradesh alone had less than 2,000 distribution centres in 2014. In UP now, there are 4,000 such centres giving employment to thousands of youths,” he said.
The LPG coverage in India is “very close” to becoming 100 per cent, he said, claiming that more connections have been given in the last seven years than the total up to 2014.
Modi said the government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts. Calling biofuel a medium that will give pace to development, he said the country was working towards using it for powering vehicles. He also mentioned plans to promote “gobar dhan”, tapping cow dung for energy.
Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.
Modi also invoked hockey icon Major Dhyan Chand, who hailed from Bundelkhand. “Today, I remember another great son of Bundelkhand, Major Dhyan Chand… Now, the highest sports award of the country has been named Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. It is my belief that amidst the unprecedented performance of our youths at the Olympics, linking of Khel Ratna with his name will inspire lakhs and crores of youths,” he said.
While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present in Mahoba, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also participated in the event.