The Madhya Pradesh government would soon provide nearly 18,500 solar-powered water pumps to farmers in the state at subsidised rates.
New and Renewable Energy Department Principal Secretary Manu Srivastava told PTI that the state government is going to make available solar borewell and surface pumps fitted with remote monitoring system to the farmers under the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Solar Pump Scheme shortly.
He said that the rates of solar pumps already arrived at after the bidding are the lowest in the country. The performance of each pump can be monitored on a real-time basis from anywhere in the world. MP Urja Vikas Nigam (MPUVN) would be the nodal agency to make available the solar pumps to the farmers, he said.
Srivastava, who is also the managing director of MPUVN, said that the MP government has already picked up the firms (through bidding) which are going to supply solar power to the state. The rates are much below the benchmark prices of Government of India.
He informed that the rates of the direct current pumps are the lowest in the country. These pumps will have a five-year maintenance provided under a contract.
Srivastava claimed that it is for the first time that any state government has embarked on such a huge programme of supply of solar pumps to farmers. He said that earlier Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan governments had provided 11,000 and 10,000 solar pumps respectively to farmers at subsidised rates.
According to PTI, a senior official of the state energy department said in the last fiscal, the MP government provided power subsidy of Rs 70 billion to farmers for use of the water pumps.