Karnataka: Farmers in the state are pushing themselves to use solar-powered pump sets due to frequent droughts and inadequate power supply. The government has provided subsidies to the farmers with an increase of 20% so that more farmers can avail the subsidies. 

About 24,000 farmers in Karnataka applied for solar power installations since March, whereas in the last nine years, there were only 5,000 farmers who applied for solar power. The state saw this increase because of the subsidy amount which changed from 60% to 80%, which made solar energy affordable even for small farmers. Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) will distribute 40,000 solar pump sets in February. 

Last year, a farmer from Kaddaragi village of Chittapur taluk, Karnataka set up a solar pump set under the scheme PM-KUSUM and he received a 60% subsidy which was very affordable. They used to face major challenges of electricity due to droughts and earlier, power to pump sets was supplied at night only which used to be a problem for farmers. Farmers are now relieved with solar-powered pump sets. 

Raghvendra Kulkarni, a farmer from Bankalaga village in Chittapur taluk wanted to install a solar pump. He said, “I’ve applied for a 7.5 HP solar pump and hope to get it soon. The three-hour electricity supply from Gescom isn’t enough. With a solar pump, we can draw water from 7:30 am to 5 pm,”.  The cost of a solar pump set is between Rs 2 lakh and 5 lakh and every farmer gets one connection only. 

KREDL received 19,000 applications out of 24,000 from 12 districts which include Belagavi, Tumakuru, Vijayapura, Chikkamagaluru, Kalaburagi, Chitradurga, Hassan, Shivamogga, Mysuru, Bagalkot, Davangere and Mandya – through its Souramitra web portal.

Managing Director K P Rudrappaiah of KREDL stated that the responses of applications are immensely increasing by the farmers and people are getting awareness about solar pumpsets and subsidies which are increasing their numbers of installations.

Earlier, the government had legalized many pumps used by farmers who used the power connections illegally because of a lack of infrastructure such as electric poles. However, there are many unauthorised pump sets.

Source : https://www.deccanherald.com/india/karnataka/karnataka-tripped-by-power-cuts-lured-by-subsidy-farmers-take-solar-bait-3093223