By Our Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR:The International Conference on LPG cooking gas, organized by Research & Development Initiative along with leading Public Sector oil companies – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation was inaugurated by Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu on Thursday here in Bhubaneswar in the presence of . Dharmendra Pradhan, MoS(i/c), MoPNG and other senior officials of Govt. of India.
The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates from more than 10 countries. More than two dozen speakers and delegates from various countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Cameroon and Sri Lanka are participating in the two day-long conference.
While inaugurating the conference, Droupadi Murmu lauded the efforts of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi and Hon’ble MoS (i/c), MoPNG Dharmendra Pradhan in ensuring the access of LPG to the poorest of poor in the rural areas of the country. She recounted her own experience as a village dweller with no access to LPG. She emphasized that the present Govt. intervention in LPG sector will result in significant improvement in the convenience of women. She expressed confidence that this international conference will provide a suitable platform to improve the LPG distributor network.
Pradhan emphasized the changes heralded under visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sh. Pradhan stressed upon changes in the narrative of LPG, which is being seen as a catalyst of social change and not as a source of profit. He stressed upon various initiatives taken by Govt. of India to ensure the reach of LPG to households of rural India which is currently suffering very badly by indoor air pollution.
He informed the gathering that currently only 74 million people are using around 24 million MT of LPG through a network of 18000 distributors across the nook and corner of the country. He complimented the officers of PSUs and all stakeholders for having taken effective steps for making LPG affordable and hence accessible to the poorer. He expressed confidence that the conference will provide necessary roadmap to learn and adopt the best practices from across the globe.
Earlier, in the inaugural session Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary General & Deputy Executive Director UN Women, elaborated the vision of United Nations to provide clean and green sustainable energy to everyone. She appreciated the efforts taken by MoPNG in ensuring the energy access to most vulnerable society of rural villages which will impact the lives of women and girls living in the villages.
D. Tripathi, Secretary, MoPNG welcomed all the speakers from India and abroad and delegates from various countries. Mr. Kimball Chen Chairman, Global LPG Partnership and senior bureaucrats and heads of state-owned oil companies including Petroleum & Natural Gas Secretary, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma, IOC Chairman B. Ashok, BPCL Chairman & Managing Director S. Varadarajan, and HPCL Chairman & Managing Director M. K. Surana also attended the conference.
The seminar will deliberate on the need for an LPG enabled household, problems arising due to absence of LPG connection, the usage of traditional bio mass cooking fuels and their impact on both health and environment.
The conference, which concludes on September 2, will also have a session on the hugely successful “Give it Up’ scheme, largest Direct Bank Transfer Scheme PAHAL and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Topics like “Role of private sector in expanding the reach of LPG” and “Role of Women in LPG Global Network – Global Practices & International Models” will also be discussed.