Government Pushes Solar on Maharashtra Farmers for Better Irrigation of Land

The government has provided the farmers in Trimbakeshwar, Surgana and Peth with new solar pumps. Because of this, these farmers are no longer dependent on MSEDCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company) for land irrigation purposes.

Across the district Nashik, about fifty nine farmers have received agriculture pumps powered by solar energy for the purpose of irrigation.  This dream turned into a reality after the ceiling of land holding by one farmer was increased by the government to 10 acres from 5 acres.

MSEDCL Chief Engineer, Deepak Kumthekar said that this scheme is great for all the people who have supply of water, but are unable to use it because of lack of proper power supply. Now these farmers will be able to irrigate and cultivate their land easily.

MSEDCL official said that these farmers would now be able to have an all-year round irrigation of land as soon as water presents itself.

Providing solar pumps as per the scheme of the state government to the farmers in areas out of reach of MSEDCL is technically not feasible.

About 130 solar power pumps are planned to be provided by the government for the year 2016-17. Farmers who applied to this scheme total to 230. Out of these, 130 beneficiaries were selected by a committee headed by the district collector. In these 130 beneficiaries, the finalised beneficiaries were 79. They were then asked to pay all the dues of their part of the share.

The official also said that out of the 79, 59 have paid the dues fully and their applications have been completed. By February 2018, their pumps would also be set up completely.

Power pumps generating direct current are in high demand because of which about 43 pumps of DC type were sought by the aforementioned beneficiaries. The official said that the DC pumps are more efficient and powerful because of which they are in high demand. Their cost is just a little higher, but the results they give are excellent.

The conditions for being able to apply for this scheme is that the farmers should have about 10 acres in land; there should be no power connection within a radius of 500 meters and once approved, the farmer can never apply for a MSEDCL power connection for irrigation purposes.

This scheme is totally different from the scheme that is subsidised by the New and Renewable Energy Ministry of India and facilitated by the Rural Development National Bank, which has no relation whatsoever with the MSEDCL. The MSEDCL official also said that this programme is completely driven by the state government and there is no national integration to this programme.

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