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India's National Stove Programme Strategy

Extracts from CORT's "Cookstove Newsletter" June 1988, Delhi

The strategy for implementation of the National Programme on Improved Cookstoves has changed quite a bit in the financial year 1988/89. The target for this year and also the main features of the new strategy are as follows.

1. Target

1.1 The overall targets shown for the current year are indicative and do not impose any limit on the Nodal/Implementing Agencies against exceeding the targets within the funds provided for the year as per approved indicative pattern. The overall targets should be split up month wise and district/block wise depending upon the various regional, seasonal and local factors. Due importance should be given to fuel scarcity areas in the implementation of the programme.
1.2 At least 7 1/2% and 15% of the targets should be implemented in the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste areas/households respectively as far as possible. There is no demarcation between urban and rural areas in this programme and definite targets should be allocated to the semi-urban, urban and slum areas, where burning of wood necessarily takes place.
1.3 Community model chulhas, which are capable of saving larger quantities of wood should also be taken up for installation in the organised sectors, like, hospitals, religious/charitable institutions, messes of military/pare military forces, police lines etc.

2.1 Implementation A multi-agency approach will be adopted for implementation of the National Programme on Improved Chulhas. The programme will be executed by State Government/UTs/State Government Agencies/Housing Bodies/Recognised Autonomous Bodies, Voluntary Organisations etc. The Nodal Departments should utilize the Voluntary Agencies as much as possible. Preferably one fourth of the targets should be implemented through voluntary agencies.
2.2 While selecting villages, due importance should be given to the areas already experiencing serious deforestation, having high fuel supply/demand deficit. Due importance should also be given to hilly areas where mostly wood is used for cooking and other domestic-heat requirements.
2.3 Preferably one training programme will be organised for each district. The training programme will consist of 20 trainees drawn from various blocks/villages of the districts. The Self Employed Workers will be trained during the training programmes.
2.4 It is expected that each Self Employed Worker will be able to install and maintain 300 chulhas in a year. However, this limit may be relaxed to 200 chulhas for hilly, far-flung, dispersed and remote areas and North-Eastern Region. Implementing Agencies may fix the limits carefully.

3. Approved Models

3.1 Fixed Types As a matter of policy it has been decided that from this year only damperless models of fixed chulhas will be propagated. However, keeping in view the typical requirements of particular areas, specific models (with dampers) can be propagated after getting prior approval of the Department. Only approved models should be constructed/installed/distributed by the Implementing Agencies. No financial assistance will be provided for unapproved models.
3.2 The models indicated in the list have been included based on their thermal performance, low smoke emission, operational convenience and field experience. A number of old models have been deleted and therefore should not be implemented under any circumstances after 1st April 1988. In case of difficulty in selection of corresponding better alternatives for the old designs, the DNES or Technical Backup Units may be contacted.
3.3 The social acceptability based on socio-economic needs, cultural and traditional preferences of the region will continue to be the main criteria for selecting a one pot, two pot or three pot model from the approved list. Single, double, triple pot and community models have been enlisted separately for convenience of selection.
3.4 Pottery Lining/Components Special emphasis is required to be given for construction/installation of fixed types of chulhas having pottery/prefab lining. Few such models have been developed, tested and enlisted on the approved list. Further, pottery lining for the entire chulhas or vital components can be provided in any chulha. This will help in retention of the vital dimensions of the chulhas thereby resulting in ensured fuel saving. The implementing agencies may take appropriate action for planning, training, production and implementation of fixed chulhas with pottery lining. To start with, components like tunnels, bridge, cowl etc. can be provided without much training.
3.5 Portable Types It has been decided to propagate stoves made of mild steel with top plate and grate of cast-iron and all cast-iron stoves from 1988-89 onwards, in view of durability and longer life. All mild steel portable models, will not be propagated from 1st April 1988. The implementing agencies are required to give wide publicity and manufacturers may be advised to design and develop models based on some other suitable material combinations of ceramic-mild steel, ceramic, mild-steel pottery, pottery, stainless steel and any other appropriate material. Concepts of secondary air supply, insulation and those used in Nutan type and pressure kerosene stoves can also be applied together with the above material combinations. The Department has kept a target of developing portable chulhas having an efficiency of over 40%. However, during this year models having thermal efficiency of about 30% will be approved until better efficient models are developed.
3.6 The list of portable models will be suitably augmented as and when more models are approved.

4. Central Assistance

The National Programme on Improved Chulhas provides central assistance for the under mentioned aspects/activities of the programme.
4.1 Central subsidy to beneficaries towards construction/installation and distribution of chulhas.
Fixed types There will be no change in the pattern of central subsidy on fixed chulhas. The beneficaries will continue to contribute Rs. 5/towards the material cost and Rs. 5/- towards supervisory charges for construction/installation of chulhas in their households. Thus, the total contribution of the beneficiary would be Rs.10/together with locally available raw materials and labour. The rest of the cost will be subsidised by the government.
4.2 The unit cost of chulhas indicated in the approved list includes hardware cost; chimney, cowl etc and cost of chimney-sealing and clamp for fixation of chimney pipe. The cost has been worked out for an average chimney length of 12ft. An additional amount will be provided if pottery/pre- fabricated tunnels and bridges are used for fixed type mud chulhas.
4.3 Portable Types The subsidy pattern for portable models of chulhas will continue to be the same ie. 50% for general and 75% to the beneficiaries of SC/ST and hilly areas. The subsidy will be admissible only in the limits of the unit costs approved by the DNES.
4.4 Community Types A subsidy @ Rs.100/- will be provided for community models of portable chulhas and Rs.50/- for fixed models of community chulhas. The beneficiary of a community chulha will contribute to the rest of the cost of the chulha including brick, labour etc in addition to Rs.25/towards supervisory charges for construction/installation of a fixed chulha.
4.5 Arrangements for sale/distribution of portable chulhas may be made through fair price shops/cooperative stores/super bazaars, military canteens etc. The Self-Employed Workers may also be utilized for distribution of portable chulhas in addition to their quota of fixed chulhas. An amount of Rs.5/- per chulha may be paid to these agencies including Self-Employed Workers as service charges/maintaining record/entry in ration card monitoring etc. The agencies will provide information for proper use of chulhas to the beneficiaries.
4.6 For the purpose of release of advance by the central Government, the average cost per chulha will be taken as Rs.42/- which will be subject to the adjustment on the basis of unit cost approved by the DNES for the model(s) being propagated minus Rs.5/- as the beneficiary share towards the cost of material for fixed chulhas and pattern of subsidy as applicable on the approved unit cost of portable chulhas. Over and above approved unit cost of the chulhas a maximum of 6% delivery and handling charges will be allowed.
4.7 Grant-in-aid for organisation of training courses For successful implementation of the programme it is considered essential to raise a dependable trained force of workers, named as "Self-Employed Workers". The "Self-Employed Workers-Chulha" (SEW-chulha) will work as a direct link between beneficiaries and implementing agencies and will be selected out of the trainees who have successfully undergone the training programme/course. At least one training course will be conducted in each district. Implementing agencies are required to select 20 trainees for a training course from different blocks/villages. About 500 training courses will be organised during 1988-89 throughout the country. Trainees should be drawn from local potters, masons, artisans, ITI trained persons, ICDS, Mahila Mandals, local voluntary agencies/welfare organizations, Vigyan Kendras, Adult Education Centres, other interested individuals. Due weightage should be given to local potters, masons, ITI trained persons and artisans in the selection.
The selection of the trainees should be such that 75% are from amongst the categories mentioned above for carrying out implementation, maintenance, repair, monitoring, feed back etc. and 25% trainees are taken from implementing agencies, like village level workers, gram sevikas, Mukhya sevikas, Primary Health Centres, multi-purpose health workers, Bharat scouts and guides, National Service Scheme etc. who will be responsible for supervision/inspection of the programme. The selected trainees should be ready to go from village to village.
As far as possible training courses should be organised under supervision of Technical Backup Units. On successful completion of the training the best workers should be selected in accordance with the target in consultation with Technical Backup-Units to work as Self-Employed-Workers (SEW). The assistance for training for one course of 20 trainees has been fixed at Rs.8000/-.
4.8 Self-Employed Workers The programme will be implemented through Self-Employed Workers. These workers will be responsible for construction/distribution, maintenance, feedback, monitoring, follow-up and repairs. The SEW-(Chulha) will also provide education and training to the beneficiaries while constructing, installing, distributing chulhas and by organising User's Training Camps. Each SEW will be responsible for construction and maintenance of maximum 300 fixed chulhas in a year. For hilly and difficult terrain the maximum limit of chulhas may be kept as 200 fixed chulhas. Each self-employed worker will be engaged on contract basis and will be paid Rs.10/- per fixed chulha. However, for notified farflung, hilly and remote, dispersed and North-Eastern areas the amount may be fixed at Rs. 15/- per fixed chulha. This amount will be paid in instalments by the implementing agencies after satisfying themselves about the performance of workers periodically. The worker will be responsible for successful working of chulha for a period of 12 months and will carry out maintenance in co-operation with the users. He will provide necessary training to the beneficiaries for cleaning of chimney, cowl, tunnel etc. In addition to the contract amount, Self-Employed Workers will also collect Rs.5/- per fixed chulha as the supervisory fee from the beneficiary after issuing proper receipt. In case of community chulhas Rs.25/- can be charged for this purpose. For repairs/modification of chulhas installed prior to April 1988, SEW will be entitled to the rate of Rs.4.50 per chulha out of which Rs.4/- will be recovered from the beneficiaries directly and Rs.0.50 from the nodal agencies.
The Self-Employed Workers are not to be treated as employees of the government or the nodal agency etc. The nodal/implementing agencies should ensure that these workers are engaged only as contractors.
4.9 User's education and their training, creation of awareness and publicity The Nodal/Implementing Agencies may organise user's training camps through Self-Employed Workers to educate the beneficiaries in the proper use of chulhas, their maintenance and repair. They may also prepare posters, audio- visual aid. and other publicity materials for this purpose. For this purpose an amount not exceeding 4% of the cost of chulhas subject to a maximum of Rs.1.50 lakhs will be provided by the Department. 3/4 of this amount will be utilized for bringing out publicity material, operation and maintenance manuals, preparation of folk songs etc. in respective languages. Remaining amount may be utilized for organisation of user's training.

5. Repair, upgradation and corrective action

Repair, upgradation and corrective action in respect of the chulhas already installed under the National Programme will be taken up through the Self- Employed Workers. For this the chulhas may be divided into the following categories:

a) Chulhas having hardware materials. The chulhas installed before April 1988 which are having hardware materials and are not being properly used may be repaired, reconstructed, converted into damperless designs. For carrying out the above operations the Self- Employed Workers may charge Rs.4.50 out of which Rs.4/- may be recovered from the beneficiary directly and Rs 0.50 from the nodal agencies and submit reports of such chulhas to the implementing agencies.
b) Chulhas with broken pipes, cowl etc.. These types of chulhas may also be repaired by the

Self-Employed Workers as per entitlement at a) above.