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Ujjwala Yojona fails in Goghat with rise in LPG prices

PMUY to provide healthy cooking fuel to prevent health hazards due to the use of fossil fuel and to stop air pollution have been completely lost.

Hemant Jacob | Hooghly |

The abrupt rise in the price of LPG cylinders has practically crippled the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) with the rural population in Goghat shifting back to the age-old tradition of cooking with wood and coal.

The main aim of PMUY to provide healthy cooking fuel to prevent health hazards due to the use of fossil fuel and to stop air pollution have been completely lost.

Hundreds of families in the rural areas of Goghat have once again shifted to the age-old tradition of cooking food over inferior quality of coal, wood, hay and dried-up cow dung, shooting up columns of thick poisonous smoke into the air.

Soon after the sunset a thick sheet of smog looms over the villages. Experts say an open fire in the kitchen causes as much damage as burning 400 cigarettes in a house. Indoor and even outdoor air pollution are the main cause of all kinds of respiratory disorders in children and the aged, the housewives in the rural areas are more prone to various kinds of health hazards due to the use of fossil fuel.

Residents of Goghat 2 like Aisan Ali, Sameresh Nandi and others said under the PMUY scheme hundreds of families with BPL cards, availed the LPG connections initially. “We received a subsidy, the purchase price of the LPG cylinder was within our means. We were really happy to say goodbye to the traditional method of cooking food with coal, wood and hay. Initially, the cost per LPG cylinder was within a range of Rs 500- 600 but the sudden hike to Rs 950 and now to Rs 1,026 is beyond our reach. Due to the smoke we are suffering from cough, chest pain and shortness of breath,” said Nandi.

The local TMC leader said the scheme has completely deviated from its main aim and objective of providing cheap and subsidized means of healthy cooking fuel.