Around two crore poor families have been provided with new LPG connections, taking to 19 crores the total number of families having gas connections in the country, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
As many as three crores more gas connections will be given to the poor in the next two years as the attempt of the government is to bring to an end the use of traditional means of cooking still used by poor people, said Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who also holds the charge of New and Renewable Energy Ministry.
He said the government had promised to provide 5 crore new LPG connections at subsidised rates and of these, two crore have already been given.
"There are 19 crore households who have LPG connections in the country. As per 2011 census, there are around 24.66 crore households in the country and 65.9 per cent of such households have LPG connections....We are making efforts to provide LPG connections to the poor sections and hope that people using traditional means of cooking to come to an end in the next 4-5 years," he said.
Replying to supplementaries, the Minister said despite industrialisation and a number of steps being taken, why does Maharashtra have 42 per cent of people still depending on firewood or why do four-and-a-half per cent of the people have to depend on crop residue.
"It certainly is an area of concern which is sought to be addressed through wider dispersal of LPG cylinders in the State of Maharashtra," he said.He added that Mumbai is also looking at expanding the use of piped gas supply to households.