24 / 7 Power depleting ground water levels due to farmer misuse, govt to review scheme

  Written by : Suryaa Desk Updated: Mon, Jan 08, 2018, 11:49 AM

Hyderabad: Barely a week after providing free 24x7 electricity to the agriculture sector in Telangana state, the government will be reviewing the scheme as there are serious concerns about depleting groundwater levels and waste of power.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will hold a meeting with elected representatives of all districts at Pragathi Bhavan after Sankranti to take feedback on pros and cons of round-the-clock free power to agriculture.

Several village panchayats and farmers associations in the districts have started passing resolutions — as for example in Karimnagar, Sircilla, Nalgonda and Yadadri districts — seeking cancellation of 24x7 power because they fear that ground water levels will fall as agriculture pumps continuously draw water. They are demanding that the government continue with either supplying power for nine hours during the day or for 12 hours in two shifts, in the morning and evening.

Ministers and TRS MLAs are seeking feedback from farmers in the districts. Official sources said that an analysis of the implementation of 24x7 power over the past one week revealed that there has been an increase in power usage of 30 million units.

“This is because the farmers have not removed the auto-starters on their pumps as instructed by the government. The special drive by the electricity department to remove auto starters is yet to take off in a majority of the villages due to non-cooperation by farmers,” the source added.