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Maha okays Central scheme to distribute solar pumps to farmers

Paddy cultivation

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government will implement the Central scheme of distributing solar pumps to farmers in the state on pilot basis.

The approval to implement the scheme was given in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here today, wherein sanction is given to distribute 7540 solar pumps as a pilot project, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 445 crore.

“The Cabinet decided to allocate five per cent of its share i.e Rs 22.25 crore from the Green Energy Fund towards implementation of the same,” said an official from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Most of the power generation in the state is coal-based and it results in air pollution thus hurting environment while non-conventional energy is everlasting and hence use of solar pumps for agriculture will prove useful, the official said.

At present, substantial amount of electricity is used for agriculture in the state and is given at concessional rates to agriculturists who also receive various grants.

The Central government has decided to provide one lakh solar pumps to reduce dependence on the coal-based energy.

“At first, 4600 pumps were earmarked for the state but following the government’s request the number was increased to 7540,” the official said.

Farmers with less than five acres of land for irrigation, specially in drought-prone areas as well as those in remote areas where there is a shortage of electricity would be benefited from the scheme.

According to the official, contractors for the pumps will be decided through e-tendering and the beneficiary will have to share 5 per cent of the expenditure for installing the solar pump.

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