Vijayawada: As a Sankranti gift to the farming community, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has taken a decision to give nine hours free power supply to agriculture.
Chandrababu Naidu announces 9-hr power to farm sector
The Chief Minister directed the power utilities to work out modalities and make arrangements to increase the present seven hours free power supply to nine hours. He also directed DISCOMs to clear all the pending agriculture connections by end of March-2019.
The present subsidy of Rs 6,030.17 crore towards agriculture for providing free power and new agricultural connections for 2018-19 will increase tentatively to an estimate of Rs 7,230.17 crore when the power supply increases to nine hours. Responding to this, the Chief Minister said “Nothing is important for me than the welfare of farmers. This is a pro-farmer government. ‘Farmers first’ is our slogan.
I will not hesitate to spend any amount to benefit the farming community. No State in India bears such a huge amount as subsidy for giving free power to agriculture. Our government is empowering the farmers by supplying free power and implementing several welfare schemes.
In fact, during my tenure between 1994 and 2004, I introduced nine hours free power to farmers. I have already directed the power utilities to release all the pending agriculture connections by March- 2019.”
The State would see a remarkable change once the Polavaram Irrigation Project is completed, the Chief Minister said. Claiming that 24x7 power supply was a major advantage to the State and more than 90 per cent of the people were happy with the power supply, Naidu said that domestic consumers and industry had suffered a lot with the severe power cuts before 2014.
“The State faced a power deficit of 22 MU following bifurcation. As soon as I became CM, the State came to power surplus stage within six months and doubled its installed capacity to 18,000 MW from 9,000 MW in 2014. This is an outstanding achievement of our government,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that Andhra Pradesh was also the first State in India, to distribute 16 lakh energy efficient agriculture pumpsets costing about Rs 40,000 each free of cost replacing age-old pumpsets.
These pumps would have smart control panel and a SIM card, giving farmers the flexibility to switch–on and switch-off these pumps from their mobile phones and from the comfort of their homes.
Energy Minister K Kala Venkata Rao, Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha, Principal Secretary for Energy and APCRDA Ajay Jain, CMD of AP Transco K Vijayanand, CMO officials Satish Chandra, G Sai Prasad, Advisor for Power Sector K Ranganatham, JMDs of AP Transco Dinesh Paruchuri and Umapathi, CMDs of DISCOMs, MM Nayak and HY Dora, MD, NREDCAP, Kamalakarbabu and MD APSPCL, Adisheshu, were present.