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 said on Saturday.
The CM 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 per unit of electricity was generated at around Rs 6.50 and the cost would come down to Rs 3-3.25 when solar power would be used. Farmers would be provided electricity at Rs 1.20, 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 CM, 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 would have the right to prevent the sale of illegal liquor and the responsibility of villages to prevent illegal liquor trade was big.