Nagpur: Concerned over inadequate rainfall in some parts of the state and the possibility of standing crops getting ruined, the government has decided to supply power to agricultural pumps for 12 hours daily. The State Cabinet on Wednesday has approved three-phase power supply for 12 hours a day to agricultural pumps in Revenue circles that have received less than average rainfall and have suffered due to long dry spell.
Currently, the power supply to agricultural pumps in the State is for eight hours only. Grappling with the long dry spell, farmers have been demanding power supply for more number of hours so that they can irrigate the standing crop in their farms. There are places where lift irrigation schemes exist but are non-functional. Immediate steps are needed to be taken at such places to save the crop.
The sowing operations in Bhandara, Dhule, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Osmanabad districts have been completed in 90 per cent of Kharif area but rainfall has been less than 75 per cent of average. In all, 19 tehsils in the State are deficient in rainfall. Against this backdrop, a proposal came up for 12-hour power supply to agricultural pumps. Considering the demand, State Cabinet gave its nod to three-phase power supply for 12 hours a day to agricultural pumps in tehsils that have received less than 25 per cent rainfall and have suffered from long dry spell of more than a month.
State Government will set up committees headed by Guardian Ministers of respective districts to take a decision on power supply to agricultural pumps. District Collector, District Superintending Agriculture Officer, and Superintending Engineer of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) will be the members of the district-level committee.