An MSEDCL spokesperson on Wednesday told The Indian Express that the decision to not cut power connections of agri pump farmers will not have any effect on residential, commerical or industrial consumers.
Over one lakh farmers in Pune district, who have agriculture pump power connection, have got relief as the MSDECL, the state power compnay, has decided not to severe connections on unpaid bills of such farmers till September 20, 2020. While there are 42 lakh agri pump farmers in Maharashtra, Pune district has around 1.25 lakh farmers, MSEDCL officials said.
An MSEDCL spokesperson on Wednesday told The Indian Express that the decision to not cut power connections of agri pump farmers will not have any effect on residential, commerical or industrial consumers. “This decision is related only to farmes with agri pumps — those who lift water with the help of a motor from wells and other sources of water,” the spokesperson said.
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In its order, MSEDCL said such farmers who have upaid bills till September 20, 2020, can pay theirs in next three years.
MSEDCL officials said the 42 lakh agri pump farmers collectively owe Rs 45,000 crores to the power company. “Farmers have defaulted for Rs 45, 000 crore. The bill amount is Rs 26,000 while the fine and interest amount is Rs 18,000 crore,” officials said.
Though the MSEDCL has asked farmers to pay their unpaid bill up to September 20, 2020 in next three years, the power company has however not given any relief in the current bill. “If the bills from October are not submitted, proper notice will be sent to the concerned farmers and then his connection will be severed on non-payment of the bill,” the MSEDCL said.
The spokesperson said the MSEDCL has announced its relief as it was noticed that officials had also taken action against power connections of farmers while taking action against residential, commercial and industrial consumers over unpaid bills. “In the current drive, there will be no action against farmers who have unpaid bills till September 20, 2020. Power connections of only residential, industrial and commercials are being severed,” officials said.
MSEDCL officials said the Maharashtra government provides power for agriculture pumps of farmers at a rate of Rs 85 paise per unit and gives a subsidy of Rs 8,000 crore annually for it.
State government agriculture officials said the move will primarilty benefit farmers from western Maharashtra. “This will primarily benefit farmers in Western Maharashtra where there is large acres of irrigated land. However, in other parts of the state, farmers will not benefit much as not many have agriculture pump. 80 per cent of the farm land in Maharashtra is non-irrigated and only 20 per cent is irrigated,” a senior agriculture officer said.
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