Solar feeders to provide electricity to farmers in Maharashtra: Fadnavis
The Maharashtra government will provide cheap and assured electricity to farmers across the state through solar feeders in the next three years, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said.
He was speaking after performing the Bhumipujan (ground breaking ceremony) for first solar project under the ‘Mukhyamantri Agricultural Solar Feeder’ scheme at Ralegan Siddhi. Veteran social activist Anna Hazare was also present. “The important decision of using solar powered feeders has been taken to become self sufficient in the power sector,” Fadnavis said.
“Initially, the plan was a plan to provide solar pumps to farmers. However, when we realised that there were limitations for distributing solar pumps, it was decided to connect the solar panels to feeders for supply to agricultural pumps for farmers to ensure power for 12 hours a day,” he added.
Fadnavis said currently each unit of electricity is generated at around Rs6.50 and the cost will come down to Rs3-3.25 when solar power is used. Farmers will be provided electricity at Rs1.20, he said. “The money saved in generating power can be used for development of farmers. This scheme has been appreciated by the NITI Aayog and it has asked the other states to replicate this model,” he said.
The chief minister, during his visit to Ralegan Siddhi also addressed a Sarpanch Parishad, to launch ‘Gram Rakshak Dal’,a mechanism to empower common man against evil menace of illicit liquor. “Due to alcohol, many families have been devastated. The state government has enacted a law, under the guidance of Anna Hazare to ensure that the common man can prevent the sale of illicit liquor. This law also fixes responsibility on officials,” he said.
He added that through this law, villagers will have the right to prevent the sale of illegal liquor and that the responsibility of villages to prevent illegal liquor trade is big.