Farm power connections may come under high tension network

This will avoid transmission loss and make beneficiaries accountable

Stage is being set to de-link agriculture power supply connections from the low tension supply network and bring them under high tension supply network so as to avoid transmission loss and make beneficiaries of free power supply scheme accountable for the usage of electricity.

The number of power supply connections for agriculture operations has increased and in the last 12 to 13 years alone around 3.50 lakh new connections have been given by Tangedco. As the power connection itself was offered free of cost, meters were not fixed at the consumer end during this period, sources pointed out.

However, after the Union government pushed in reformations in electricity sector, the Tamil Nadu government was forced to come out with the quantum of power utilised by the farmers for their agriculture operations.

When an attempt to install digital meters at the consumer end was made three years ago, it evoked stiff resistance from the beneficiaries. Hence, the government decided to adopt a new route to measure the usage of free power supply and started implementing HVDS (high voltage distribution system) mechanism to supply power for agricultural operations wherein the high voltage line would be replacing the existing low voltage supply line.

As per the scheme, higher capacity distribution transformers through which agriculture power supply connections were given in bunches would be replaced with lower capacity distribution transformers having a capacity to provide electricity to not more than 3 or 4 pump set connections, sources added.

As far as Thanjavur district is concerned, around 60,000 agriculture connections exist out of which 45,000 are old connections. To begin with it has been proposed to install 1,500 single pole transformers with digital meters during this financial year and nearly one fifth of these SPTs have already been installed in Pattukottai and Thanjavur areas. Apart from installing SPTs with meters, digital meters are also installed at the consumer end while new connections are energised.

Stating that all the agriculture power connections in the district would be brought under the SPT network within three to four years, a separate feeder network would be set up exclusively for agriculture connections in near future like the separate feeder system for agriculture purposes exist in some other States, they added. While the department sources claimed that implementation of HVDS mechanism was only to measure the quantum of power used for agriculture operations and it would help avoid transmission loss and as well as low power supply or breakdowns, the ryots view it as the first step towards doing away with the free power scheme.

“The idea to bring the agriculture power supply under HVDS and under separate feeder network later was nothing but an attempt to bring the curtains down on the free power supply for agricultural operations,” alleges P. R. Pandian, general secretary, Tamizhaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 2:11:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/farm-power-connections-may-come-under-high-tension-network/article30463973.ece

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