With an aim to convert AP into a smoke free state and reduce the supply of kerosene, the state government has finally given a directive to all the Tahsildars to offer gas connection to every white ration card holder in the state. The government actually aims to go “smoke free” by June 8th which is why the Tahsildars have now donned the role of marketing executives and are actually encouraging people to take gas connections. During the last six month, the Tahsildars have spent most of their time in convincing the families below the poverty line to opt for an LPG connection.
In fact, thanks to the efforts of these officials, close to 2 lakh households have ditched their conventional stoves and have switched over to LPG, thus working wonders for the Deepam scheme that is going on in SPSR Nellore. Due to the pressure on them to complete the task, they have even gone forth and joined hands with local philanthropists to help the poor cardholders who cannot afford a connection. However, in spite of all the efforts and with the deadline looming close, 50000 households have yet to be covered.
One of the most peculiar problems faced by these Tahsildars is that a lot of people in the rural area consider LPG to be an explosive and thus prefer to stick to the traditional cooking method using kerosene stoves. C Ravindra Babu, a Tahsildar in Sullurpeta said that he has actually come across people who have even refused a free of cost connection due to their fear of gas leakage and cylinder explosion.
Under this scheme, the state government is willing to offer a cylinder and regulator against a security deposit of INR 1650. According to A.MD.Imtiaz, the Joint Collector of Nellore, if the gas companies had been a tad more cooperative, they would have been able to cover all the below poverty line families by now. He added that it was due to the demand of advance payment of subsidy by companies like BPCL and HPCL that had caused all the delay.
Anyhow, the problem has now been resolved. He is fully confident of meeting the target by June 8th. However, due to the restriction imposed by the Central Government against offering LPG connection to homes with thatched roofs, kerosene supply will continue for 30000 homes.