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

Articles By Ashok Sreenivas

What Has the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Achieved So Far?

The central government’s flagship programme to provide free liquefied petroleum gas connections has been in operation for two years, providing more than 3.5 crore free LPG connections to poor women. This much-needed scheme is a major step to reduce indoor air pollution, drudgery faced by women, and one that promises to extend LPG access. However, little is known about the progress of the scheme. Has it led to sustained use of clean fuels among poor households? There is need for more information about the scheme in the public domain for a comprehensive evaluation and mid-course correction.

From LPG Connections to Use

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, to provide concessional LPG connections, is a step in the right direction but much more needs to be done by 2019 and beyond to ensure homes in India cook using modern fuels. This article explores the issues of providing connections, subsidy provisioning and ensuring sustained use of LPG and other modern fuels, so as to displace solid fuels from Indian kitchens. It also highlights the need for planning for increased demand and addressing institutional gaps to ensure that the benefits of modern fuel adoption, especially health benefits, are realised.

Urban Transport Planning: Lessons from the Proposed Pune Metro Rail

This article critically analyses the decision-making systems behind the proposed Pune metro rail system and its detailed project report, exposing several weaknesses in both. The decision-making system is seen to be ad hoc, and not sufficiently transparent or participative. The DPR suffers from serious methodological and analytical errors, and has exaggerated the benefits from the proposed project. This analysis, along with the experience from other cities, suggests that cities are increasingly seeking single large, big-budget solutions to their urban transport problems without exploring the many simpler, cheaper and more effective options available.

Shortcomings in Governance of the Natural Gas Sector

There has been a consistent lack of transparency and several governance lapses in the natural gas sector which have led to various kinds of concerns in important areas such as investment levels in blocks, availability of information regarding gas finds, content and process of arriving at pricing and utilisation policy, regulatory weaknesses and emerging market concentration. The objective of this article is to look behind the media glare and highlight the governance shortcomings that need urgent attention. Interestingly, a number of these issues were highlighted about two years ago on these very pages.