August 6, 2021 1:21:41 am
The successive governments of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat have not raised power tariffs for farmers in the past 25 years, underlined Chief Minister Vijay Rupani while inaugurating the infrastructure to provide electricity to 2.10 lakh farmers in 1,501 villages under the Kisan Suryodaya Yojana (KSY) on Thursday. He reiterated that all farmers of the state will start getting power during daytime by end of 2022.
“The BJP has been ruling Gujarat for 25 years but we have never increased price of electricity even by a paisa. We have always given farmers electricity at reasonable tariffs though prices of coal, steel and electricity have gone up,” Rupani said while addressing farmers at Kisan Sanman Divas, an event organised by the government at RD Varsani High School in Bhuj town of Kutch on Thursday to felicitate farmers and distribute aid.
But for a brief period in 1996-97 when then BJP leader Shankersinh Vaghela broke ranks with the party and became CM by floating his own outfit, the BJP has been ruling Gujarat almost without break since 1995.
Kisan Sanman Divas marks the fifth day of the week-long celebrations to mark the completion of five years of Rupani government in the state.
Rupani said that during Congress reigns, people in villages used to get electricity supply only for few hours in a day, while the BJP government ensured round-the-clock three-phase power supply to villages under Jyoti Gram Yojana. “In the past five years, my government gave 5.5 lakh agricultural electricity connections to farmers. Gujarat was the first state in India to give round-the-clock three-phase power to villages and now we have come up with Kisan Suryodaya Yojana so that farmers can work on their farms during daytime,” the CM said.
A documentary film screened at the event in Bhuj said 3.38 lakh farmers in 3,915 villages have already started getting daytime power under the Rs 3,500-crore KSY, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year. Rupani said that all farmers of the state would be covered under this scheme by the end of 2022.
At present, the government supplies power to farmers in rotating shifts. The CM said KSY will end the risk of farmers being exposed attacks by wild animals, snakes and insects while irrigating their crops at night.
Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Ranchhod Faldu in his address said that the state government has paid Rs 29,946 crore to power distribution companies to so that they can supply power to farmers at highly subsidised rate of Rs1.5 per unit.
Besides the main event in Bhuj, Kisan Sanman Divas events were organised at 120 places across the state simultaneously on Thursday. The CM also unveiled a digital plaque marking the laying of foundation of 14 godowns of Gujarat State Seeds Corporation Limited in 10 districts of the state. The godowns will be constructed at the cost of Rs 225 crore and will have a capacity of 1.85 lakh metric tonnes.
Meanwhile, Congress staged protests across the state claiming under the BJP regime, agricultural inputs became costlier and farmers were not realising remunerative prices for their produce, making them bankrupt.
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