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Thousand Gujarat farmers to get solar pumps for irrigation

Gujarat government has decided to provide solar-powered water pumps to 1,000 farmers to reduce usage of conventional power and to ease its financial burden due to subsidy on electricity provided for irrigation.

The project will be implemented under the aegis of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) and four distribution companies (DISCOMS) – Daxin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd, Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Ltd, Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Ltd and Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Ltd, according to a state government notification issued last month.

The purchase of solar-powered water pumps will be initiated in the coming days through tenders, GUVNL’s chief engineer (technical) Y D Brahmbhatt told PTI.

These submersible pumps will be of 3 to 5 horse power (HP) and cost Rs 6 lakh per unit to the government, totalling Rs 60 crore for 1,000 pumps, he said.

“Our main aim is to reduce the burden on our existing power plants and encourage the farmers to opt for solar powered pumps for their regular irrigation needs. We have given a go ahead to this project after successful testing of 25 such pumps for last one-and-half years, as we received very good feed back,” he said.

As per a recent notification issued by state energy and petro-chemicals department, the solar pumps are necessary as 20 per cent of total electricity produced in the state is being used for agriculture purpose, which ultimately increases the financial burden on government in the form of subsidy.

The government is also worried about the long list of pending applications seeking power connections for irrigation.

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