24x7 free power for agriculture completed 5 years
By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Narender Pulloor
HYDERABAD: Free power for agriculture sector 24X7 hours in Telangana state had completed successfully five years on January 1, 2023. The farmers of Telangana districts had transformed from shortage of power to surplus of power and water status in five years. Free power for agriculture sector was introduced by then Congress government in 2004 and after formation of Telangana state, free power extended 24x7 for agriculture needs, which is a game changer initiative in Telangana.
Earlier, farming community had difficulty to get uninterrupted and quality power supply for agriculture needs. As a result, the standing crops were damaged and production of yield reduced. In this context, free power supply to the agriculture sector is boost up the morale of farmers. After introducing of 24x7 power supply, the cultivable area and production significantly increased.
Telangana state northern power distribution company limited chairman and managing director Annamaneni Gopal Rao said that cultivation of crops increased three folds after launching of 24x7 hours free power scheme. There are 12 lakh borewells using for agriculture needs under TSNPDCL limits, he said. Every cent of land is being brought under cultivation and 2 lakh new agriculture connections provided to the farmers, he explained.
Following the availability of round the clock free power, farmers are cultivating different crops and getting high yields. This is also boost up the rural economy, even though in drought prone areas. Due to multiple benefits provided by the state government to the farmers like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, free power, the prices of agriculture lands shoots up in the state.
Retired engineer Ch. Subramanyam said that Punjab, Haryana states also providing free power to the agriculture sector, but there is mechanism to avoid the wastage of power and water. Following the guidelines of World Bank, the governments provided infrastructure for judicious use of power, he said. Providing free power is great help, but creating awareness on power usage is equally important, he opined. Saving of power has multiple benefits like minimize the usage of water, reduce the pollution, he said.
According to official data, the state government had spent Rs 36,890 crore for last eight years to provide free power to the agriculture sector. To supply uninterrupted power supply to the tail end areas, transmission network strengthened with the cost of Rs 37,911 crore.