IIT researchers devise programme to maximise LPG connections

IIT Kharagpur researchers have devised a decision support system to help maximize the LPG connections in BPL (below poverty line) households, an official statement said.

It is a first of its kind for analysis of a national level energy policy, it said.

A decision support system (DSS) is a computer programme that helps in making sound rational decisions using mathematical programming and operation research techniques.

PMUY, launched in May 2016, aimed to provide five crore LPG connections by 2019 to BPL families with the support of Rs 1,600 to each family. The government has recently revised the target to providing eight crore LPG connections by 2020.

The DSS devised at the IIT uses mixed integer linear programming to mathematically formulate the policy using input parameters, decision variables, and their relationships.

The mathematical model has found the optimum number of total (BPL) connections required in a region, number of dealerships that need to be commissioned in a region over the policy time frame.

The IIT team has done sensitivity analysis with the mathematical model — change in a decision variable with respect to the change in a parameter.

With this, they can predict not only how the number of household connections can be increased but also the critical region that contributes most in each zone of LPG distribution.

Certain areas though have been well covered, such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.

The government needs to pay special attention to regions critical to LPG penetration, such as Assam in the Northeastern zone, in order to achieve 100 percent BPL household penetration, the institute said.

This kind of DSS can be developed for various federal and state level policies for various commodities like solar panels distributions, agricultural commodities and so on

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