Save power, save farmers initiative planned

A novel concept of “save electricity, protect farmers” has been chalked out. A meeting of representatives of farmers and pumpset users will be convened in Bengaluru before budget session, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, said.

Briefing reporters, after offering prayers at Rishyasringa Temple at Kigga in Sringeri on Tuesday, he said the government has set March 31 as deadline for regularisation of unauthorised irrigation pumpsets. IP sets will be disconnected if measures are not taken for regularisation.

“All farmers have to do is to register their IP sets and pay regularisation fee ranging from Rs 14,000,” he said.  “Three years ago, Hosadurga Taluk had 3,000 IP sets. Now, it has been increased to 15,000. The pomegranate growers use highest electricity. The growers in Malnad seek electricity connections to IP sets. A decision on which category of farmers will be given free electricity will be discussed in length. At least two farmers representatives from each assembly constituency should attend the meeting and provide opinion.”

Stating that over two lakh IP sets have to be regularised, he said Rs 6,200 crore was earmarked for reimbursing electricity bill of farmers last year. However, the bill has come around Rs 7,200 crore. The misuse of electricity has been brought to the notice of the department.

Hence, “save electricity and protect farmers” have been chalked out. To overcome shortage of electricity during monsoon, 567 mega watt electricity will be purchased.

No portfolio change

He clarified that he has not placed a demand for change in portfolio during cabinet expansion. “Change in the portfolio is left to the discretionary power of the Chief Minister,” he added.
“Chief Minister will complete his five year term. Dr G Parameshwara is KPCC President. It is left to the Party High Command to decide on inducting him to the cabinet,” he clarified.

‘Farmers will protest’

Meanwhile, Opposition leader in Assembly Jagadish Shettar said that the farmers will stage a protest if the government initiates any measure to disconnect electricity connection to IP sets that has failed to install meters.”

The government has failed to install meters to the IP sets. There is a need to create awareness among farmers on the same. However, it is not right on the part of the government to set deadline.

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