Power consumers will have to bear cost of solar pumps for farmers

Nov 05, 2018, 13:28 IST | Agencies

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company has applied a 10 paise per unit surcharge from November 1

Power consumers will have to bear cost of solar pumps for farmers
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The state government has imposed an electricity surcharge of 10 paise per unit on industrial and commercial consumers to finance its scheme to provide 25,000 solar pumps to farmers, a senior official said on Sunday.

In view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls next year, state Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had announced that farmers would be provided with one lakh solar pumps in three phases between 2019 and 2021, of which 25,000 would be given in the first phase.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company has applied a 10 paise per unit surcharge from November 1. Arvind Singh, principal secretary in the state Energy department, confirmed the move.

"The total expense of the scheme is Rs 825 crore and as the state has no resources, we have decided to collect funds by applying a surcharge on consumers," Singh said. "We expect to collect Rs 90 crore per month through this surcharge," Singh said. In the first phase, the government will provide solar pumps that have a capacity of 3-5 horsepower (hp) to farmers. Their cost if between Rs 2.40 lakh and Rs 3.85 lakh.

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