The Agro Food Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to introduce concessional tariff for farmers in order to tackle the existing backlog of four lakh applications, which is expected to take more than 20 years to clear.
Association president S. Rethinavelu said that many applications have been languishing for over a decade. Many farmers, he claimed, had expressed willingness to pay a subsidised tariff to obtain power connection expeditiously.
Such a scheme would provide connection to more agricultural pump sets at the earliest, a move that could increase agricultural production.
At present, he said, the growth of agricultural sector was not apace with the industrial growth in Tamil Nadu.
The move to supply free power to farmers was taken to stimulate agricultural production and contain the cost of farming.
Even the Deputy Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin, had emphasised the need to accelerate internal production of pulses and grams to satisfy the State's requirements rather than meet the demand through imports.
In this direction, the Agriculture Minister, Veerapandi S. Arumugam, had announced the ‘Anna Award' to the farmer coming first in urid and green gram production.
Another award would be given to the agricultural official who motivated farmers in the production of pulses and grams.
With sustained agricultural growth being sine quo non for overall economic development, the TNEB should expeditiously come out with a scheme for farmers, a press release stated.
Keywords: Power woes