According to reports, CM Nitish Kumar seems to be a strong votary of green systems. After it was decided to light up his official residence 1 Anne Marg with solar energy and Rs 4.5 crore was sanctioned for the purpose by the state cabinet, his native village Kalyanbigha in Nalanda district will witness a demonstration of low-cost solar pumpset on Thursday. The initiative in this regard has been taken by Greenpeace India.
Representatives from Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA), Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP), Bihar Renewable Energy Development Support Network (BREDSN) and NABARD will be present on the occasion.
The solar pumpset is designed for marginal farmers having 0.5-2 acres of land. However, this can also be upgraded to cover larger farms, said campaigner (climate and energy), Greenpeace India, Arpana Udupa.
It is a submersible, as against surface mounted, direct current (DC) pump, and no inverter or battery is required. Its output ranges from 600 to 2000 liters per hour and the pump can be used for nine hours per day depending on availability of sunlight, Udupa told TOI.
With widespread power shortage in Bihar, farmers have to depend heavily on diesel for irrigation purposes, a costly and polluting energy source. Hence, a cost-effective solution is the need of the hour.
Greenpeace has recommended that decentralized renewable energy solutions such as the low-cost solar pumpset be brought under the ambit of government’s agriculture roadmap to ensure Rainbow revolution in the state. A scheme should be launched to promote such solutions, Udupa added.
A solar pump-powered drip irrigation system can enable a farmer to grow at least three crops in a year. This system is simple, low cost, highly sustainable and non-polluting, and also saves 75% water, 70% labour and still yields 30% higher harvest. Conservation of water with drip irrigation helps the water table remain high, as a result of which wells do not dry up in summer.