Haphazard use of power leads to waste
Rabi cultivation work gained momentum in Nalgonda, Yadadri and Suryapet districts with abundant groundwater available due to heavy rains this year.
Nalgonda: Rabi cultivation work gained momentum in Nalgonda, Yadadri and Suryapet districts with abundant groundwater available due to heavy rains this year. The government, which is supplying 9-hour power to agriculture, is suggesting the farmers to adopt on and off system in using the agriculture pump sets.
Since April this year, the government has been supplying 9-hour power six hours during day time and three hours at night to agriculture pump sets. Keeping in view the increased cultivation area, the government is also planning to supply power for 9 hours during day time. Due to the poor rainfall for the last two years, groundwater level had come down considerably making the power pump sets unneeded in united Nalgonda district.
But, the good rainfall this year boosted the groundwater level considerably bringing back the usage of motor pump sets. The farmers started installing more pump sets thus causing increase in demand for power. Due to the six-hour power supply during day time and three-hour at night, the farmers are using automatic starters to their pump sets since they are not sure when the power would be supplied.
However, the automatic starters are causing overload to transformers resulting in their burning often. As per statistics, there were 3,69,381 agriculture pump sets in united Nalgonda district and 13,000 more applications for power connections are pending. In essence, there is demand for power for four lakh pump sets.
During August, 2015, the power consumption for agriculture was 204 million units. After the introduction of 9-hour supply, the power consumption is 306 million units during August 2016. That means the power consumption has gone up by 30 per cent. Keeping in view the 9-hour power supply, the officials have undertaken various development programmes at a cost of Rs 120 crore to purchase 70, 212 transformers with capacity of 33/11 KV in addition to laying thousands of kilometers power lines. Once the government approves, efforts are on to supply nine hours during day time only.
During the Kharif season, the power consumption was 19.51 million units and in the present Rabi season, it would go up manifold. Though the present demand is only 19.10 million units, it is likely to go up to 23 million units, according to official sources. Transco SE Bhiskhapati told The Hans India that the department was getting ready to meet the demand.
However, the SE expressed concern over farmers installing automatic starters to their pump sets at many places. As a result, motors are running though water was not necessary to crops and consuming power wastefully. Moreover, other farmers are not getting power supply when they need it. This would also deplete groundwater level, he warned.
There is also the possibility of burning of both motors and transformers due to overload, he added. The SE appealed to the farmers to utilise power and groundwater judiciously by using on and off system in the larger interest of farming community. It would also prevent low-voltage problem, burning of motors and transformers, he added.
The SE recalled that 13,000 applications for agriculture power supply were pending with the department and the farmers needed to pay Rs 4,950 for the connection. The government would bear Rs 70,000 to arrange transformer, he said. Reacting to the appeal to adopt on and off system, the farmers said there was a need to install more transformers to avoid overload.
They could not stay at the farm from morning to evening waiting for power supply, they said and this problem compelled them to use automatic starters. If the power supply was regular as per the demand, there would not be any problem with automatic starters, they added. The farmers said that four or five farmers were using the 20 KV transformer without any problem. Expressing readiness to adopt on and off system, they appealed to the government to supply power uninterrupted.
Power Minister Jagadish Reddy appealed to the farmers to adopt on and off system. He said the government was ready to solve the problems of farmers. Keeping in view the growing demand for power supply, there was every possibility of transformers and motor pump sets getting burned, he said. The Minister said the 9-hour power supply would be only during day time soon.
By B Ashok