Two years ago, 38-year-old homemaker Sheela started using an LPG cylinder for cooking at her house in Garshi village near Shimla. Switching to a new fuel after years of cooking over firewood on a chulha (clay stove), Sheela said she was struck by the ease of use.
“On a chulha, it sometimes took half an hour just to start the fire. Then you have to constantly manage the fire while cooking. One benefit of using LPG is that I can prepare tea instantly for my guests,” she said.
Sheela is one of the two women in her village who were without of an LPG connection until the government gave it to them for free. On December 27, when the state government completed two years, it declared that Himachal Pradesh had become the first state in the country to have “100% LPG gas coverage”.
“There’s not a single home in the state now where firewood has to be burnt for cooking,” said Union Home Minister Amit Shah while addressing a public rally in Shimla that day.