Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has said there were apprehensions that when 24-hour power supply will be given to the agriculture, use of auto starters will result in depleting the ground water which would do more harm than the benefit. If such a situation arises, it would be like jumping from frying pan to the fire.
The CM is worried that even if the 24-hour power is given to the farmers, if they do not remove the auto starters, the ground water will be depleted and despite availability of power, they will be left with no water for the standing crops which would result in their withering away. However, he said he was confident that since 24-hour power is being supplied for the benefit, the farmers will not indulge in anything that harms their interests.
The CM is hopeful that once the harm of having auto starters is explained to the farmers, they would understand and voluntarily remove the auto starters. The CM gave call to the agriculture officers, power officials, public representatives, Ministers; MLAs to tour the villages and conduct meetings in this regard.
The CM had already instructed the Electricity department to start supplying 24-hour power supply to the farm sector beginning from 12.01 hrs from the midnight of December 31. The electricity organizations have also spent Rs 12,000 crore and strengthen their distribution and supply system for the 24-power supply.
The CM held a high-level review meeting here at Pragati Bhavan on Tuesday on the situation emerging out of 24-hour power supply. Ministers G Jagdeesh Reddy, T Harish Rao, Government’s Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Genco Transco CMD D Prabhakar Rao, Chief Secretary SP Singh, Transco JMD Srinivas Rao, NPDCL CMD Gopal Rao, SPDCL CMD Raghuma Reddy, Directors Narsing Rao, Srinivas Reddy, MP Balka Suman, Special Chief Secretary Ajay Mishra, Principal Secretaries S Narsing Rao, Ramakrishna Rao, Shanta Kumari and others participated.
There was an in-depth discussion on what are the issues and problems that arise after giving the 24-hour power supply to the farm sector. The officials said that farmers started using the auto starters under the united AP rule, as they do not know when the power supply takes place. When the power is supplied they would automatically start the bore. If auto starters are used when the power is supplied for 24-hours, borewells will pump in water 24-hours and this would lead to fast depletion of the ground water. Even if the power is available, farmers suffer and crops fail due to lack of water underground. There is also loss for the bore wells, which are not deeper from the bore wells, which are deeper. The officials said from the farmers they are getting complaints on these two problems. If the auto starters were not removed totally, the entire objective of 24-hour supply would be defeated and would have counter results.
Responding to this, the CM said a comprehensive plan should be in place to ensure 24-hour power scheme gives more benefits to the farmers. Besides removing the auto starters, the CM said the farmers should be educated to utilise the water resources judiciously. “Our farmers have the habit of utilising the tank water according to the need and I am confident that they would also utilise the ground water in the same manner. Farmers will never harm their own interests. In the past they installed auto starters due to non-availability of power, now with 24-hour power supply they have no such need. Moreover if crops are fed with more water than required it would harm the crops and farmers know this fact. The farmers will cooperate if they are made to understand that they would be at loss if the auto starters were used. The entire official network of Agriculture, Power departments till the village level should create awareness among the farmers. Ministers, MLAs and other public representatives should hold meetings at the village level with the farmers and explain the situation. The farmers will cooperate if they are made to understand that without water 24-hour power has no meaning. Remove 100 percent the auto starters after convincing the farmers and work unitedly for getting better benefits of the 24-hour power supply scheme,” the CM explained.
The CM has reiterated and gave an assurance to the electricity organisations that the entire expenditure for the supply of 24-hour power to the farm sector will be borne by the government. He said expenditure for supplying 24-hour power from Jan 1 will be met with this year’s budget and from next year onwards, additional allocations would be made in the Budget under Power Subsidy category.
The CM has announced that the electricity organisations who are only spending 9 percent towards the employees salaries and having fiscal discipline would be protected. The CM also said that the expenditure on supplying power to the Lift Irrigation Schemes would also be borne by the government. He wanted the electricity organisations to be ready as Medigadda, Annaram, and Sundilla Lifts as part of the Kaleswaram project will start functioning from the next monsoon. (NSS)