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Maharashtra farmers get solar push from govt for better land irrigation

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ET Energyworld
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Farmers in Peth, Surgana and Trimbakeshwar are not dependent on the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) any more thanks to new solar pumps by the government.

About 59 farmers across Nashik district have received solar agriculture pumps to gush out water from the ground for irrigation purposes. The dream became a reality after the government increased the ceiling of land holding by the farmers from 5 acres to 10 acres.

“The scheme is targeted at people who have water but can’t use it because of lack of power supply. These farmers will now be able to irrigate their land and cultivate for a better future,” said chief engineer of MSEDCL, Nashik zone, Deepak Kumthekar.

It is technically not feasible to raise infrastructure in certain areas as per the state government’s scheme for providing solar power pumps to farmers where the MSEDCL will not be able to reach them. “These 59 farmers will now be able to irrigate their lands all-year round, whenever there is water,” an MSEDCL official said.

The government had decided to provide a total of 130 solar power pumps for 2016-17. A total of 230 farmers applied for the scheme, of which the district collector headed committee selected 130 beneficiaries. Out of these beneficiaries, 79 were finalised and asked to pay the dues of their share.

“We received a share from 59 beneficiaries and treated their applications accordingly. The pumps were set up in their farms in due course of time – mostly after February,” the official said.

The direct current (DC) power pumps are in demand as a result of which 43 such pumps were sought by the beneficiaries. “The DC pumps are more powerful and efficient as a result of which they are in demand. While they cost a little higher than regular pumps, the results are tremendous,” the official said.

The farmers who wish to apply for the scheme should fit the criteria of having up to 10 acre of land, no power connection within 500 meter and that once a beneficiary, the farmer can never apply for power connection from the MSEDCL.

The scheme is different from the one subsidised by the ministry of new and renewal energy facilitated by the National Bank for Rural Development, which is not related to the MSEDCL. “This is a state government driven programme,” the officer added.

Author: sustainabilityoutlook