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Maha to start Rs 5084 cr power distribution scheme for farmers

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

government today approved a scheme to provide connection through a High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) to farmers?for their agriculture pumps.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Devendra Fadnavis, Power Chandrashekhhar?Bawankule told reporters here.

The scheme, estimated to cost Rs 5048 crore, will benefit around 2.24 lakh farmers?who are awaiting new power connections, the said.

"Two farmers will share a transformer through HVDS lines, to be provided to farmers during August 15 to March 31 next year," Bawankule said.

At present, 10 to 15 farmers?are provided through 65 to 100 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) lines, the minister said.

"In the present set-up, farmers get low voltage and there are cases of power tripping due to defects in transformers," he said.

"For Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, a budgetary provision of Rs 600 crore has already been made.?State power distribution utility Mahavitaran will take a Rs 2500 crore loan (for the project) and the will stand guarantor," he said.

Stating that is self-sufficient in electricity, the minister said, "We have achieved the demand? of 23,100 MW and are able to provide uninterrupted power supply. There is no load-shedding for industrial, residential and commercial consumers."

"For agriculture purpose, eight is provided (daily). There are around 700 feeders where?villages and farms have a common and we are undertaking a scheme to separate them," he said.

"We will complete 2,000 MW solar power projects by December 2019. The tendering process is complete. These projects will help over 5,000 farmers," the minister said.

Around 45 lakh farmers have arrears of Rs 13,198 crore towards unpaid power bills, the minister said.

"We appeal them to pay at least Rs 5,000 (each) so that we can work to strengthen the transmission system.?We have stopped disconnecting (for unpaid bills)," he said.

In the last three years, farmers in were given four lakh agriculture pumps connections, the minister said. The cost of each connection is Rs 1.5 lakh, he added.

In the HVDS scheme, the expenditure per agriculture pump is expected to be around Rs two lakh, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 17:30 IST