Nagpur: In a move to save electricity, Maharashtra Government is contemplating to provide farmers with 40 lakh energy-efficient agriculture pumps in next four years. However, this decision would burden the state exchequer with additional Rs 16,000 crore. At present, farmers owe pending electricity bills to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore. If they clear the bills, then the remaining Rs 4000 crore could be spent from State Government coffers for installing 40 lakh energy conservation agriculture pumps. These pumps could save 50 percent of electricity (1000 megawatt) and relieve the farmers from financial burden, said Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule.
“The energy-efficient pumps would not only reduce power bills of farmers, but also provide respite to the state exchequer, bringing down the subsidy amount by at least Rs 4,000 crore each year,” added Bawankule while briefing media on Friday.
He further said that on the lines of mobile pre-paid cards the farmers would also be provided with pre-paid electricity meter cards. They could use the electricity of the pre-paid card amount. The State Government provides electricity for agriculture pumps at a rate of Rs 85 paise per unit and gives a subsidy of Rs 8,000 crore annually for it. “Though we provide electricity to farmers at a subsidised rate, farmers do not pay their bills regularly. The pending dues towards such bills amount to Rs 12,000 crore,” Bawankule said.
The Minister further said that Nagpur is on the fast-track mode of development and during last 12 months,the district has witnessed massive works initiated by State and Central Governments, opening of prestigious national level institutions, new boost to infrastructure, tourism and revival of MIHAN.
“A mega development project worth Rs 414 crore has been sanctioned for Shree Mahalaxmi Jagdamba Temple, Koradi while in Kamptee tehsil alone works worth Rs 900 crore have been approved.
He also mentioned other projects such as Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), National Law College, AIIMS in MIHAN, IIM, IIIT, and other projects being undertaken in Nagpur District.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@g