Tamil Nadu

Solar-powered fences to protect fields from elephants

The barrier  

Elephants are intelligent enough to overcome the barrier of conventional fences put up for the protection of farms.

To overcome this problem, the Agricultural Engineering Department is planning to install hanging solar-powered fences. Though the concept is not new to the State, it will be carried out with a 40% back-ended subsidy to be provided to farmers willing to have such fences.

The barrier, to be hung from a height of about 12 ft, is made up of hot-dip galvanised aluminium conductor steel reinforced wires, which are considered rust-free. This is said to be useful in protecting the fields against wild boar and bison attacks. The cost varies depending upon the number of lines of the wire. For instance, wires with five lines are estimated to cost about ₹2.91 lakh, of which the government’s subsidy will cover around ₹1.16 lakh. If the number of lines is 10, the cost goes up to approximately ₹3.37 lakh, of which the subsidy component will be nearly ₹1.35 lakh.

Apart from this type of fence, the Department is also funding the installation of normal fences. A total of 510 farmers will be covered this year.

As of now, no break-up has been worked out for the two types of fences, an official says. Ten companies have been shortlisted for implementing the scheme. The government has set apart ₹5.68 crore for the scheme.

Solar pump sets

To further promote the use of solar pump sets, the authorities are planning to get such pump sets installed through farmers by giving them a 70% subsidy.

The State and Central governments will provide 40% and 30% subsidy, respectively, while the remaining 30% has to be borne by agriculturists.

Subject to the capacity and the type of electric current (Alternating Current or Direct Current), the cost of submersible pumps varies from around ₹2.38 lakh to ₹4.40 lakh. The maximum capacity of the pump sets is 10 horsepower.

As the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has not yet given its approval for fresh rates and companies in view of litigation, the Agricultural Engineering Department has obtained the Union Ministry’s nod for getting 1,250 solar pump sets installed initially with the rates and firms chosen for 2019-20.

Eight firms have expressed their willingness to carry out the initiative. The overall number of solar pump sets to be covered is 5,000, and the State government has earmarked about ₹115 crore for the purpose.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 6:09:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/solar-powered-fences-to-protect-fields-from-elephants/article36849853.ece

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