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BJP leaders sceptical over 12-hour power to farmers

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Barely 48 hours after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced 12-hour power supply to agricultural pumps during peak hours, senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it would be difficult because of the increased burden on the transmission lines and technical snags.

“The CM has made a wish for 12 hours, but if we consider factors like peak-hour load, snags, network failures, and tripping, it is unlikely to happen,” said a BJP functionary. Another added: “It is only possible if the government divides the duration: six hours in the day and six at night.”

Energy experts too have their doubts. “The implementation of such a move is difficult, and if the power is supplied at night, it will not make any difference to farmers. This will then be [just] another announcement on paper,” said activist Pratap Hogade.

The Energy Department had estimated an additional burden of Rs. 1,200 crore if an extra 10 percent of electricity was generated to meet the need of the farmers. “For this decision to be implemented we would need an additional 15,000 mega watt of power. The farmers can get it, but not during peak hours and that too uninterrupted,” a senior official said.

Officials said the government has decided to get the proposal approved by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission. The additional supply, once approved, will continue till November.

At present, the farmers receive power only for eight hours for the first three days of the week, and then 10 hours for the next three days. For the remining one day, pumps are operated either with private support or lie idle.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 1:55:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/BJP-leaders-sceptical-over-12-hour-power-to-farmers/article14628914.ece

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