UncategorizedFueling the Fire: The Cost of Kerosene in Assam

Fueling the Fire: The Cost of Kerosene in Assam

Kerosene is a vital commodity in Assam, a state located in northeastern India. It is primarily used for lighting and cooking purposes, especially in rural areas where electricity is scarce. However, the rising cost of kerosene has been a cause for concern among rural households who heavily rely on it. In this article, we will explore the impact of kerosene price hike on these households, the government’s subsidy scheme, challenges faced in implementing it, alternative energy sources, and the role of NGOs in promoting sustainable energy.

Kerosene: A Vital Commodity in Assam

Kerosene is an essential commodity in Assam, particularly in rural areas where electricity is limited. Households use kerosene for cooking, lighting, and even farming activities. It is also used as a fuel for transportation. Kerosene is especially important during power outages, which are frequent in rural areas. For these households, kerosene is a lifeline that helps them to carry out their daily activities.

The Rising Costs of Kerosene in Assam

The cost of kerosene has been rising steadily in Assam, mainly due to the increase in global crude oil prices. In addition, the government has been reducing its subsidy on kerosene, which has led to an increase in its price. The rising costs have hit rural households the hardest, as they cannot afford to pay the higher prices for kerosene.

Impact of Kerosene Price Hike on Rural Households

The rising cost of kerosene has had a severe impact on rural households in Assam. Many households have had to cut back on their kerosene usage, resulting in reduced lighting and cooking hours. Some households have switched to alternative energy sources, such as firewood and charcoal, which are cheaper but have adverse effects on health and the environment. The economic impact of the rising costs has also been felt, as households have had to spend more money on kerosene, leaving less for other essential needs.

Government’s Subsidy Scheme for Kerosene

The government of India provides subsidies on kerosene to reduce the burden on low-income households. The subsidies are meant to ensure that kerosene remains affordable for all. The government has set up a Public Distribution System (PDS) to distribute kerosene to households. The PDS system is meant to ensure that kerosene reaches the targeted beneficiaries, mainly rural households.

Challenges Faced in Implementing Subsidy Scheme

The government’s subsidy scheme for kerosene has faced several challenges in its implementation. One of the major challenges is the diversion of kerosene meant for households to the black market. The kerosene meant for rural households ends up in the hands of middlemen who sell it at higher prices. The government has also faced challenges in identifying the targeted beneficiaries, especially in rural areas.

Alternative Energy Sources for Kerosene

With the rising costs of kerosene and the challenges faced in implementing the subsidy scheme, households have started looking for alternative energy sources. Firewood and charcoal are some of the alternatives that households have turned to. However, these alternatives have harmful effects on health and the environment.

Solar Energy: A Feasible Solution for Rural Areas

Solar energy has emerged as a feasible solution for rural areas in Assam. The state has abundant sunlight, which can be harnessed for energy. Many organizations have started promoting solar energy as an alternative to kerosene. Solar lanterns and solar cookstoves have been introduced as alternatives to kerosene lamps and stoves. These alternatives are not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective in the long run.

The Role of NGOs in Promoting Sustainable Energy

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a significant role in promoting sustainable energy in rural areas of Assam. Many NGOs have started distributing solar lanterns and cookstoves to rural households. They have also conducted awareness campaigns to educate households on the benefits of using alternative energy sources.

Addressing the Root Cause: Overdependence on Kerosene

To address the root cause of the kerosene price hike, there is a need to reduce the overdependence on kerosene. The government needs to introduce policies that encourage the use of alternative energy sources and reduce the subsidies on kerosene. Households need to be educated on the benefits of using alternative energy sources and how they can reduce their kerosene usage.

Conclusion: Striking a Balance between Cost and Sustainability

The rising costs of kerosene have had a severe impact on rural households in Assam. While the government’s subsidy scheme has provided some relief, there are challenges in its implementation. Alternative energy sources such as solar energy have emerged as feasible solutions, but more needs to be done to promote their usage. NGOs have played a significant role in promoting sustainable energy, but there needs to be a concerted effort from all stakeholders to reduce overdependence on kerosene. Striking a balance between cost and sustainability is the key to addressing the kerosene crisis in Assam.

Future Prospects for Sustainable Energy in Assam

The future prospects for sustainable energy in Assam look promising. The state has abundant sunlight, which can be harnessed for energy. The government has introduced policies to promote renewable energy sources, and NGOs have taken up the mantle to promote sustainable energy. With concerted efforts from all stakeholders, Assam can become a model state for sustainable energy usage in India.

The rising costs of kerosene have been a cause for concern in Assam, but there are solutions available. Alternative energy sources such as solar energy have emerged as feasible solutions, and NGOs have played a significant role in promoting sustainable energy. The government needs to introduce policies that reduce overdependence on kerosene and promote alternative energy sources. Striking a balance between cost and sustainability is the key to addressing the kerosene crisis in Assam.

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