Rajasthan government is planning to come up with a Rs. 515 crore solar water pump project to cut down on its power expenses.

It is likely to install 10,000 solar water pumps in the first phase to save nine crore units per annum. The state government has sent a proposal to the central government for its approval under the National Agriculture Development Scheme.

Rajasthan agriculture minister Harjiram Burdak said that the state government is in talks with the central government for rolling out this project. “We are waiting for centre’s nod. We will implement it in phases,” he said.

The state government has already invited expressions of interest from solar pump set manufacturers. Around 10 manufacturers have shown interest in supplying solar pump sets in the rural areas.

“The solar pump sets are attached to the water source. Solar panel of the pump converts the solar energy into electrical power, which runs the motor to pump water. A five HP solar water pump set will save 25 units of power every day,” an agriculture department official said.

Under this project, farmers in water-scarce areas will be asked to install solar water pump for irrigation. There are two types of pumps. The cost of 2-HP solar water pump is Rs. 4 lakh while a 5-HP pump costs Rs. 10 lakh.

“Farmers will get 80 percent subsidy on the cost of the pump while the state government will provide them loan on remaining amount at the interest rate of 5 per cent,” he said.