Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seeking to expand the reach of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to remote areas in the country, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has laid down a firm road map for the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) that would entail the release of 5.5 crore LPG connections by 2015 and the setting up of small LPG distribution agencies.

The Ministry has also approved pilot projects for distributing kerosene and LPG through smart cards under the Public Distribution System (PDS) to prevent diversion and leakages in the distribution network. 
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora, who revealed the information, said there were 11.5-crore LPG consumers in the country. The Ministry was planning to increase the number to around 16 crore in the next six years. This would increase coverage from 50 per cent of the population to 75 per cent. 
New initiative Mr. Deora said that an important initiative called the “Gramin LPG Vitarak” was being made operational by the OMCs. Under the scheme, the thrust would be to increase rural penetration and cover remote and low potential areas for all locations having the potential of 600 and/or less LPG refill sales per month.
Under the “Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitarak Yojana,” the government has approved the setting up of small scale LPG distribution agencies.

On the smart card scheme, Mr. Deora said the pilot projects for kerosene and LPG distribution would be introduced in Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore for families under the PDS. “This should be seen as a major step to check the pilferage of domestic LPG and PDS kerosene and ensure that they are delivered to the targeted groups,” he added.

Mr. Deora said a road map had been prepared to extend the city gas services to nearly 202 townships or cities in phases, as suggested by the committee headed by M.B. Lall, Member, Appellate Authority on Power and Petroleum.

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