ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards Cleaner Cooking in India

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Clean cooking is one of the indicators specified in the Sustainable Deve­lopment Goal (SDG) 7 to meet the objective of affordable and clean energy to all by 2030. In India, efforts are ongoing from the last two decades to bring the transition from solid to clean cooking. In May 2016, India had also implemented a dedicated programme to subsidise liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connection through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Yet the current situation is very grim.

LPG, no doubt, is promoting clean cooking in India but it is yet out of reach for the many deprived. It was estimated that about 22% (25% in rural and 13% in urban) of India’s population lived in poverty in 2011–12 and only 61% households used LPG in 2019–20. There was about a twofold surge in LPG price between 2014 and 2019 and the surge is continuing during the ongoing pandemic. Given the severe impact of the pandemic, especially on informal employment and the economy since March 2020, the current price of more than `800 ($12 approximately) to refill a LPG cylinder may exaggerate the damage caused to the deprived—mainly to the people residing in settlements, non-notified slums and their counterparts in rural areas—forecasting that it might bring a reverse transition from clean cooking to using solid fuels, such as coal, wood, and cow dung, which would severely worsen the indoor and outdoor air quality by emitting black carbon. It is evident that air pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and these diseases are also among the topmost causes of death in India in the 21st century. In addition, citizens are also irregularly receiving the LPG subsidies that the national programme has assured for.

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Updated On : 20th Nov, 2021

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