No Love For LPG In Rural India

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Mukta kaushik

NEW DELHI : The government of India is pushing its Ujjwala scheme to promote usage of LPG in rural households in particular. It is claimed that the use of LPG has increased as a result of this scheme. The reality is far from true, as a study reveals. A study in 6 states has concluded that LPG is still the least commonly used fuel in the rural (see chart 1). The most common reason for this non-adoption was found to be installation cost and the monthly charges of the fuel. The median cost of LPG connection was 4700 INR; most households reported paying between 3000 and 6000 INR.

This data was collected from a survey called “Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity- Survey of States” (ACCESS) which was conducted in 2014-15 in collaboration with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water. The data was collected by MORSEL Research and Development Pvt. Ltd. This survey was conducted among 8568 households of 714 villages in 51 districts across 6 energy poor, contiguous states of India; Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The data was collected by a team of 40 surveyors over a period of 3 winter months (Atulesh Kumar Shukla). This was to determine the fuel used in cooking in households in these states.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas of LPG is the most prevalent clean fuel used in India, but still, its usage is limited in rural areas. The data from this survey can be used to try to get insight into the reason behind non-adoption of LPG by households in rural areas. Given the fact that using this single fuel can impact a wide number of sectors like burdens of disease (Lim et al.2013), socio-economic impacts (Kowsari and Zerriffi, 2011; Duflo et al.2008), environmental effects like accelerated degradation, depletion of local resources (Ghilardi et al.2009) and climate consequences (Bond et al.2004; Jeuland and Pattanayak, 2012). Thus, national transition to this fuel can have large multi-sectoral impacts. Keeping these benefits in mind Government of India, along with 3 large oil companies, started 3
major programs in 2015.

Keeping these benefits in mind Government of India, along with 3 large oil companies, started 3 major programs in 2015.

1.PAHAL, here the fuel subsidies are directly transferred to beneficiaries account. This was done to reduce the illicit use of subsidized LPG outside the non-household sector.

2. GIVE IT UP, it enables middle-class households to transfer their subsidies to poor households through giving up gas cylinder connection.

3.PRADHAN MANTRI UJJWALA YOJANA, this will provide free connections to 80 million poor households by 2019 (Khan, 2017). Despite all these efforts by the government, the LPG usage did not increase substantially.


LPG is used by people either as a primary or secondary source of fuel for cooking. By use of LPG as the primary fuel, we mean that it is the main source of cooking and no other fuel is used beside it. Whereas when used as a secondary source it means that it is used only for preparing tea, snacks or other basic items but not the food. This graph depicts their satisfaction or dissatisfaction level. Thus it can be safely concluded that besides these programs by the government the LPG could not be widely adopted due to the connection and fuel cost.


1. Aklin, Michaël, Cheng, Chao-yo, Urpelainen, Johannes, Ganesan, Karthik, Jain, Abhishek,2016. Factors affecting household satisfaction with electricity supply in Rural India.Nat. Energy 1, 16170. assets/nenergy/2016/nenergy2016170/extref/nenergy2016170-s1.pdf

2. Lim, Stephen S., Vos, Theo, Flaxman, Abraham D., Danaei, Goodarz, Shibuya, Kenji, Adair- Rohani, Heather, AlMazroa Mohammad A., Amann, Markus, Anderson, H.Ross, Andrews, Kathryn G., et al., 2013. A Comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2010. Lancet 380 (9859), 2224–2260.

3. Kowsari, Reza, Zerriffi, Hisham, 2011. Three-dimensional energy profile: a conceptual framework for assessing household energy use. Energy Policy 39 (12), 7505–7517.

4. Duflo, Esther, Greenstone, Michael, Hanna, Rema, 2008. Indoor Air Pollution, Health, and Economic Well-Being. SAPI EN. S. Surveys and Perspectives Integrating Environment C.F. Gould, J. Urpelainen Energy Policy 122 (2018) 395–408406 and Society (1.1).

5. Bond, Tami, Venkataraman, Chandra, Masera, Omar R., 2004. Global atmospheric impacts of residential fuels. Energy Sustain. Dev. 8 (3), 20–32.

6. Jeuland, Marc A., Pattanayak, Subhrendu K., 2012. Benefits and costs of improved cookstoves: assessing the implications of variability in health, forest, and climate impactsPloS One 7 (2), e30338

7. Khan, Faizal, 2017. Why a clean cooking campaigner chooses the kitchen to save the  planet. The Economic Times. nation/why-a-clean-cooking-campaigner-chooses-the-kitchen-to-save-the- planet/articleshow/61610304.cms


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