Other States

Gujarat farmers upset over erratic power supply

Farmers in Gujarat are upset over erratic power cuts they are facing for the last three weeks as the power utilities have been curbing supplies for agriculture.

In several districts of North Gujarat and Saurashtra regions, farmers have taken out protests marches.

Written to authorities

Several Opposition MLAs and even the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a farmers’ wing of the RSS, have written to the authorities demanding the power supply be restored for the farm sector.

The government has admitted that the power plants were facing shortage of coal and therefore the supply was curtailed but the energy companies apparently did not purchase power from private players to meet the growing demand from farmers.

“For the last 20 days, we have been getting power only for a few hours. We want uninterrupted supply for at least 8-9 hours to irrigate fields,” said Laljibhai Chaudhary, a farmer from Banaskantha district.

He added that members of BKS have even submitted a memorandum to the local authorities seeking regular supply till November end.

On Saturday, Gujarat’s Energy Minister Kanubhai Desai admitted about shortage of coal and said the situation will improve in next two weeks.

‘Global scarcity’

“There is a scarcity of coal across the globe because coal mines are facing issues of flooding due to excessive rain. It is also happening because of climate change. As a result, the supply of coal has been hampered. But, this is a temporary issue,” he told reporters in Vapi town of south Gujarat when asked about the frequent power cuts.

However, local representatives and even legislators feel that the power shortage would affect farmers very badly if not addressed on urgent basis.

On Monday, Gujarat’s Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel also reportedly sought intervention from the top to ease the crisis.

Officials in the GUVNL have said that power demand from farmers has gone up suddenly and therefore is a shortage and power cuts in a few pockets.

‘Cotton crop destroyed’

“Our cotton crop is getting destroyed as there is no power to irrigate the field. We have water but no power to pump it to irrigate,” said Jivan Gajera, a farmer from Amreli district.

Protest marches

So far, farmers have held protests in Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Sabarkantha, Amreli and other districts.

“There is massive shortage and it appears that the government is not serious to help the farmers,” said Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia, who has demanded that the State should purchase power and supply of its own plants are not working.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 9:13:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-farmers-upset-over-erratic-power-supply/article37169770.ece

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