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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-II :
  • 31 December, 2019

  • Min Read

Ujjwala scheme reduced reliance on forest wood

Syllabus subtopic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Prelims and Mains focus: about the Ujjwala scheme and its significance; key findings of the ISFR, 2019

News: The Union Environment Ministry has credited the Ujjwala scheme, which provides free cooking gas to extremely poor families, with ‘possibly’ reducing the demand for fuelwood.

Context: The India State of Forest Report, 2019, — that biannually also assesses the tree cover — also surveyed 1,110 villages, which are on the fringes of forests, to assess how much fuelwood, fodder, small timber and bamboo villagers use.

The use of these products— according to the Forest Survey of India — was a major source of “impairment to forest productivity” but wasn’t adequately assessed.

What did the report find?

  • In their assessment of villages in 31 States and Union Territories, nearly 8,52,90,000 tonnes of fuel-wood, 105,30,39,000 tonnes off fodder, 584,8204 cubic metres of small timber and 18,34,000 tonnes of bamboo were collected annually by those living in the forest fringes.
  • The maximum fuelwood was removed in Maharashtra — 95,39000 tonnes — followed by Odisha and Rajasthan.
  • The highest removal, per person, was in Nagaland followed by Himachal Pradesh and Tripura.

About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY):

  • It aims to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.

  • Who is eligible? Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.

  • Identification of households: Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Key objectives of the scheme are:

  • Empowering women and protecting their health.
  • Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
  • Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.

Source: The Hindu


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