The Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) water pumping systems for irrigation for 3,500 farmers from the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were granted by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
The program was initiated about six months ago, beginning from Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar among others.
On the basis of population, 3,500 pump sets have been distributed between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the ratio of 58:42.
The 5HP pump sets would cost about Rs. 5 lakh each. Central government gives a 30 per cent subsidy along with a minimum of 15 per cent of the cost borne by State governments. The beneficiary does not bear more than 15 to 20 per cent of the total cost.
A State-level committees will be constituted as per central government instructions to work out the modus operandi for identifying the beneficiaries, and to determine the cost structure, explained, M. Kamalakar Babu VC, MD, New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation (NREDCAP), Andhra Pradesh.
These committees will be formed at the State level, to be headed by Principal Secretary, Energy, and with Principal Secretaries respectively of Agriculture, Horticulture and Rural Development departments as members. VC&MD of NREDCAP will be the convener, informed Babu.
With a life guarantee of 20 years, solar pumps can recover the invested amount easily. According to a recent advisory issued by the APERC, there are 13.05 lakh agricultural pump sets in Andhra Pradesh, and 18.14 lakh in Telangana. Both governments are offering free power to farmers of smaller landholdings.