Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore (SP)
Bangalore, March 29: Farmers in Karnataka have news that can lift their spirits. The state cabinet has approved the proposal to provide solar pump sets to farmers under the central government sponsored Pradhan Mantri Kisan urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM). About 10,000 farmers in Karnataka will be the beneficiaries of the scheme, sources say.
This program relieves farmers of the need to depend on grid-connected electrical power for farming activities. Farmers will have the freedom to generate electricity from their IP sets by installing solar panels. Normally, diesel or gasoline are used to operate agricultural pump sets. As part of this program, the motor pump units will be converted into solar motor pump units. The electricity produced on the solar power grid can be sold to the government which pays money to the farmers.
To install the solar power grid on their land under the said scheme, farmers will have to pay fees ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000 for sets between 0.5 MW and 2 MW. Farmers will be required to pay 40% of the total cost of setting up the agricultural loan through a bank loan. 30% each will be supported by central government and state governments. Out of the total cost of Rs 30,723 crore, Rs 10,697 crore will be covered by the state and balanced by the center.
To apply, farmers must register online on the official website of PM-KUSUM. They have to scan the bank account details, fill in the necessary details and submit. Solar power is only supplied to new solar-powered pump sets and not normal IP sets, sources said. Beneficiaries are selected online by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd. Power companies are relieved of the burden of extending the power grid to farmers’ fields and saving the electricity they would otherwise have to supply from the grid.