In a move that would benefit nearly three lakh farmers in Andhra Pradesh, the YS Jagan Reddy Government is planning to drill nearly two lakh bore wells in non-irrigated farm lands for free under the YSR Jala Kala scheme. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Jagan Reddy on Monday, the YSR Jala Kala scheme will bring 5 lakh acres of arid and dry lands under cultivation.
The government will spend Rs 2,340 crores in the next four years to drill bore wells in the lands which do not have any water source at present.
Agriculture Minister K Kannababu said that small and medium farmers who have no open source of water for irrigation will benefit from the scheme as the government. “During his padayatra, several farmers had told the CM that their fields were parched due to lack of any water source, as their farms are in uplands or they were arid or dry for want of water. Farmers are pushed into debts for drilling a bore and the difficulties in watering the crops. This scheme will help all such farmers,’’ he said.
Providing borewells to farmers with land in arid regions was part of the YSR Congress Party’s election manifesto in 2019.
“With the launch of the scheme, one more election promise translates into reality,” CM Jagan Reddy said.
A farmer or a group of farmers with a land holding of 2.5 to 5 acres can avail this initiative by applying either online or through the village secretariats.
The State has already identified contract agencies for the drilling work in every parliament constituency. Once the application is filed, a technical team will assess the ground water level and give the clearance to the drilling contractor.
Though not promised during the padayatra nor mentioned in the manifesto, motors will also be provided free of cost to the borewells for small and marginal farmers. This additional cost for the motors would be about Rs 1600 Crore.
The CM said that new electricity meters would not burden them but it will give data on consumption and the required load of feeders which will help in bringing in transparency into the system. The bill amount for power consumed would be transferred to farmers’ bank accounts and they will pay to Discoms, he said brushing aside negative propaganda of Opposition.
A 10,000 MW solar energy unit is coming up to cater to the nine hour free power scheme for the next 30 years.
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