Rajasthan likely to get more aid for solar pump scheme

Rajasthan is likely to get assistance from the National Clean Energy Fund for implementation of the solar pump scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The Planning Commission has praised the progress made by the scheme in a short duration in the State.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced a decision to install 10,000 solar pumps across the State during the current financial year. This is likely to reduce the current load on the Grid, promote “green energy” and provide a significant benefit to farmers and horticulturists.

Planning Commission’s Member (energy) B. K. Chaturvedi reviewed the scheme’s progress at a meeting in New Delhi recently. State Principal Secretary (Horticulture) Dinesh Kumar Goyal made a presentation on the environmental and economic aspects of the ambitious scheme at the meeting.

Mr. Goyal said here on Tuesday that the scheme had made a significant contribution to agricultural development in the State during the past three years. The Planning Commission had agreed to consider all proposals made by the State Government for extending the scheme and widening its scope to cover more beneficiaries.

Mr. Goyal said the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was also considering a proposal, following the scheme’s success in Rajasthan, for installing as many as 17,500 solar pumps across the country, 65 per cent of which would be in the State. “The dry climate and availability of ample sunlight are major factors responsible for encouraging results in Rajasthan,” he said.

Rajasthan presently gets 30 per cent of funds for the scheme from the Centre and 56 per cent from the National Agricultural Development Programme and the State’s own resources.

The State expects to get Rs.148 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund for installation of 10,000 solar pumps during 2013-14.

A national conference on solar energy pumps is being organised here on Thursday with the expected participation of about 10,000 progressive farmers and experts.

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