VIJAYAWADA: Energy minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy asked farmers to install meters for their agricultural power pump sets without any reservations.
“State government will deposit charges payable for metered power supply into separate bank accounts of farmers. Charges for power consumed will be withdrawn by banks from these accounts. Farmers will not have to pay a single paisa from their pockets,” Ramachandra Reddy clarified.
He pointed out these bank accounts will in no way be related to any loans farmers may have taken. Banks will not adjust power charges deposited by state government towards any other expenses, he explained.
The minister requested farmers not to believe in any false propaganda being spread by vested interests in this regard. He was holding a virtual meeting with energy department officials on the DBT scheme and nine hours of daytime power supply to agricultural consumers.
Ramachandra Reddy maintained that state government decided to implement DBT scheme as part of reforms initiated by the union government only after taking all necessary steps to protect the interests of farmers. More than 97 percent of farmers have consented to DBT scheme, he pointed out. In fact, as farmers will be paying for the power they consume while using their agricultural pump sets through DBT, they will even be able to demand from DISCOMS quality power, he underlined.
The minister assured that the state government will not impose any restrictions on total number of free power connections. All existing agriculture connections will be continued. Government will sanction new agricultural connections and regularise unauthorised connections and additional load connections as well, he stated.
Ramachandra Reddy declared that YSRC government will continue free power scheme for the next 30 years. For the purpose, it has entered into an agreement with Solar Energy Corporation of India for purchasing 7,000 MW power exclusively for agricultural connections.
Officials informed the minister that DBT scheme for supplying power to agricultural connections has been successfully implemented on a pilot basis in Srikakulam district. They pointed out that during FY 2021–22, 101.51 MU of electricity was consumed by 26,083 connections in Srikakulam district. Though power connections increased to 28,393 in FY 2021-2022, consumption was limited to 67.76 MU after installation of meters to agricultural pump sets. In the process, 33.75 MU of power has been saved, officials explained....