PM Modi launches Ujjwala Yojana 2.0

Lucknow, Aug 10 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said it was unfortunate that people had to wait decades for basics like hospitals, roads and electricity, indirectly targeting the previous governments as he launched the second phase of the Ujjwala cooking gas scheme.
“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,” he said through video conference. Modi launched the second phase of the nationwide Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), or Ujjwala 2.0, by virtually presenting cooking free LPG connections to some beneficiaries in Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh, where assembly elections are scheduled early next year. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was present at the Mahoba event, handed over the documents to the women on his behalf.
“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 due to this,” the prime minister said. When a family or a society struggles for the 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 and the kitchens to contribute to nation-building.
So in the last six years, we worked on mission mode for solutions to all such problems,” the PM said in his televised address.
He said crores of toilets have been built across the country under the Swachh Bharat Mission and pucca houses constructed for the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
“Most of these houses are owned by our sisters, he said while also listing other schemes launched by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Modi said in the first phase of the PMUY, eight 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 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 gas coverage in India is now 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.
Under Ujjwala 2.0, migrant workers can get a free gas connection on the basis of a self-declaration without any need of documents like an address proof.
Modi said the government has also fixed a target of providing piped gas to 21 lakh homes in 50 districts.
He called biofuel a medium that will give pace to development and said the country was working towards using it for powering vehicles. He also mentioned plans to promote gobar dhan tapping cow dung for energy.
Interacting with 10 women beneficiaries from the scheme’s first phase, he said, “Before 2014, people had to take rounds of government offices for getting the benefit of any scheme.”
“Our attempt is to ensure that benefits of schemes or resources reach all,” he added.
The beneficiaries told him that the Ujjwala scheme had cut down the time spent in the kitchen, with one of them saying she could now take better care of her elderly father.
Along with a deposit-free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide the first refill and a hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also participated in the event.

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