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Haryana mulling subsidy to farmers for solar pumps

According to reports, in an attempt to change the practice of heavy subsidy on electricity supply to farmers for tubewells – which is leading to more exploitation of groundwater – Haryana government has planned to provide incentives for solar pumps.

Currently, there are around six lakh tubewells in Haryana while thousands are still waiting for new connections. The government announcement came in the state assembly on Thursday when Congress MLA and former minister Karan Singh Dalal suggested adopting alternative means of energy to handle the problem of non-payment of electricity bills and line-losses.

Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said a scheme to install solar pump at tubewells was under process. To generate 12 KW solar energy, an expenditure of about Rs 8-12 lakh is expected. He said an expenditure of Rs 50,000 crore is expected for installing solar pumps for six lakh tubewells which is quite heavy.

Khattar said such a scheme is not possible at one go, but the state government was ready to implement it in a phased manner. “Negotiations for the same are also being held with companies. Under the scheme, there is a provision to give subsidy of Rs 20,000 per KW to the farmers,” he added.

The state government has fixed a target to generate 400 MW renewable energy by the year end. The tender process to generate 150 MW solar power has already been started and discussions are under way with corporations of central government to generate additional renewable energy so as to achieve the target.

The CM said that the state does not have enough resources to generate power from hydro and thermal projects as there is lack of water and coal for the same in the state. “Government is promoting sources of alternative power which is quite cheap as compared to thermal power. With reference to the government of India’s target of 1 lakh MW renewable energy generation, Haryana has been given to generate 2000 MW solar energy by 2020,” he added.

Khattar informed that the state had inherited mismanagement in the power sector, including losses and weak infrastructure. “The cumulative losses of year 2014-15 have reached Rs 29,362 crore. In addition, there is provision to provide subsidy of Rs 6,200 crore per year,” he added.

 

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