‘Govt to provide 2.18 lakh power connections to farmers’

Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Thursday said the government would facilitate solar energy to five lakh farmers in the next two years. While admitting that 12- hour power supply during the daytime was not possible through thermal energy, he said that solar was the credible alternative. “The government would provide 2.18 lakh new electricity connections for operating agriculture pumps to farmers. And also provide single transformer to farmers. Or it can be shared by two farmers to ensure better maintenance.”

While declaring the government’s intent to modernise and upgrade the power infrastructure through investments of Rs 3,000 crore, he said the government will also have to initiate the process to recover the massive arrears of pending power bills from farmers in the agriculture sector.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has waived the interests up to Rs 8,000 crore on the pending arrears. But it is our appeal to farmers to pay at least Rs 3,000 to ensure their connections are not disconnected. Those who owe the government pending bills more than Rs 30,000, should pay at least Rs 5,000,” he said. Farmers owe Rs 22,043 crore to the government over pending electricity bills.

[http://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-to-provide-2-18-lakh-power-connections-to-farmers-4983463/ December 15, 2017]