Chandigarh-Kersosene Free City

Author: Sh. Danish Ashraf, IAS, Addl Director, Food and Ci, Time: 09 November 2016 12:52 pm


"A Kerosene Free City"

The Chandigarh Administration has declared Chandigarh-a Kerosene Free City with effect from 1st April, 2016 and onwards. The distribution of Subsidized Kerosene Oil (SKO) through the erstwhile Kerosene Oil Depots (KODs) has been stopped with immediate effect. With this step, the Union Territory of Chandigarh has become the first among States/UTs to become kerosene free in a planned manner.

                        In the process of making Chandigarh Kerosene Free City,03 extensive surveys were carried out over a span of more than one and half years; substantially reducing the number of eligible Subsidized Kerosene Oil (SKO) users and thereby, reduction in SKO allocation to U.T., Chandigarh and finally declaration as Kerosene Free City.

                        The utmost motive of making Chandigarh kerosene free is to reduce the level of environmental pollution in the city, save human beings specially women and children from the hazardous effects on health from burning of kerosene oil while cooking, and to make available a cheaper, cleaner and modern fuel as means of cooking.                       

                        For the convenience of general public, the Department of Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs, U.T., Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Oil Marketing Companies through the State Level Coordinator-Oil Industries, U.T., Chandigarh initiated following steps to facilitate the SKO users wherein the LPG connections under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme had been released to the identified/eligible ration card holders :-

1.       LPG facilitation Schemes:-

       02 types of schemes were launched to facilitate the kerosene users-

        (i)  Deposit Free LPG Connection Scheme- For BPL & AAY households, where these families were provided with 1 LPG cylinder, 1 Regulator (worth Rs.1600/-) free of cost. However, the cost of other equipments was to be borne by the consumer. The gas connection forms were made available free of cost at all the LPG dealers in the city.

       (ii)  Zero Percent Interest Loan Scheme- For rest of the kerosene oil using          

               households (not covered under the poverty line), but having no LPG connections.

            The eligible and interested households were provided with 1 LPG cylinder, 1 Regulator, & 1 Suraksha Pipe (worth Rs.1740/-) under the 0% Interest Loan Scheme. However the cost of other equipments was to be borne by the consumer. The gas connection forms were made available with all the LPG Dealers, at the Office of Food & Supplies, Sector-17, with all the Municipal Councilors (MCs) and the Sarpanches free of cost.

2.         Organization of Camps:-

            From 18.03.2016 to 30.03.2016, a total of 33 special camps were organized in different colonies/villages of the U.T., Chandigarh in collaboration with the LPG distributors and with the help of public representatives such as-Municipal Councilors, the Sarpanches in order to facilitate the kerosene oil using beneficiaries with fresh LPG connections.    

            Though the camps at public places were concluded on 30.03.2016, yet keeping in view larger public interest, the camps at the level of concerned LPG Distributorships of all the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) were run for longer span of time so that the willing persons could avail the benefit of the schemes even by visiting the LPG Distributor nearest to their home.

3.         Support from the Elected Representatives:- 

            To seek the cooperation from the elected public representatives such as- Member of Parliament (MP), Mayor, Chairman Zila Parisad, the Municipal Councilors (MCs) and the Sarpanches, letters were written to all, along with the enclosure of list of camp locations and coordinating officers for the facilitation of kerosene oil users with LPG connections.

4.         Assistance from NSS Volunteers:-

            Keeping in view the big role played by the NSS volunteers in hand-holding of the beneficiaries during the implementation phase of the DBT in foodgrains scheme in U.T., Chandigarh, again the help of NSS volunteers was taken to spread awareness and assist SKO beneficiaries, who were not very literate and less familiar to the process of taking fresh LPG connection.

5.         Daily Reporting:-

            To monitor the daily progress of the camps 08 officials/inspectors were deputed. The duty of the concerned inspectors was to visit the camp site in routine and to provide assistance to the beneficiaries, wherever needed.

6.         Cinema format of the Video on Kerosene Free City :-

            A short video on the concept of kerosene free city, formatted to cinema format was got prepared, which was being played regularly in all the theaters / cinema halls situated in the city during the interval of the film at the time of organization of LPG facilitation camps.

7.         Radio Jingles:-

            Radio jingles on the subject of kerosene free city was got prepared, which were also being aired on AIR, all the city based FM radio channels at regular interval of time during the organization of LPG facilitation camps.

8.         Logo making Competition:-

            A logo making competition was started on the MyGov Mobile App, in which the wining participant was to be awarded with Rs.5,000/- cash prize.A total of 97 entries were received.           

            The logo of the winning entry was partially adopted as the logo of Chandigarh kerosene Free City.

9.         Public Announcement:-

            A pre-recorded message about the kerosene free city scheme was played in the streets of the identified localities and the religious places like Mandirs, Masjids and Gurudwaras simultaneously by USB supported instruments, which in turn not only saved time but was also quite economical.

10.       LPG connections Application Forms:-

            For the speedy performance, 16,000 application forms for the release of new LPG connections to the beneficiaries were got printed. These forms were made available free of cost to the beneficiaries who wanted to avail the benefits of the scheme. For the convenience of the general public, upto 200 forms were provided to each elected representative say, Municipal Councilors, Sarpanches at the beginning and more if required at later stage.

11.       Distribution of T-shirts to Spread Message:-

            As a means of spontaneous publicity among the targeted groups, 500 T-shirts were distributed among the volunteers as well as the masses with Chandigarh Kerosene Free City logo printed on the back as well as front of the T-shirts.

12.       Pamphlets:-

            Every effort was made to let the message reach to every household which could extract benefits from the said scheme. Therefore, 50,000 pamphlets were circulated among the masses to spread awareness about the scheme.

 13.      Public Notice in Newspapers:-

            Alongwith the regular press release in local newspapers, the public notice was also published in different Hindi, English and Punjabi newspapers on alternate days. The language of the public notice was knowingly kept Hindi with the assumption that most of the targeted masses/groups are at ease in Hindi language.