Giving some relief to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), which found it difficult to provide power connections to farm pump sets, the Department of Agricultural Engineering has established 70 solar-powered pump sets in the district, , which could produce 2,800 kw of green energy per day.
The solar-powered pumping system, with 80 per cent subsidy, will provide farmers energy security for irrigation throughout the year. Farmers in the district have taken a lead in setting up solar pump sets as they havewater sources such as open and bore wells, suitable for erecting 5 HP AC solar pump sets.
The solar pump sets were operated for about eight hours a day, M. Yuvaraj, Executive Engineer, in-charge (Agricultural Engineering), said, while demonstrating their prowess during a press tour on Tuesday.
He said the 70 solar pump sets would generate 8.40 lakh kw of energy a year.
M. Sellamuthu, a farmer in Manakarai, had an open well but irrigation became expensive as his oil engine consumed a minimum of five litres of diesel a day. He had three and a half acres of land but cultivated just one crop in an acre all these days.
“I never imagined that I could cultivate in summer,” an elated Sellamuthu said. He operated the newly established solar pump set for eight hours a day and was cultivating groundnut, pulses and vegetables in two and a half acres now. The recent summer rain has raised water level in the well and he is set to expand cultivation area by another acre.
Mr. Yuvaraj said that the department had formed a group of 16 farmers of Scheduled Castes and backward classes and helped them rejuvenate a bore well and lay pipelines at a cost of Rs. 6 lakh under the State Balance Growth Fund with 90 per cent subsidy.
Similarly, under the National Agriculture Development Programme, it had been proposed to dig community irrigation bore wells by forming 150 groups of 10 farmers each with total land holding of 25 acres this year.
Each bore well with pipeline facilities would be established at an estimated cost of Rs. 7 lakh for a group with 50 per cent subsidy, he added.