Chandigarh, Sept 10: Haryana was adjudged first in the country in installation of off-grid solar pumps under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahaabhiyaan (PMKUSUM) with installation of 14,418 pumps against 15,000 sanctioned pumps for the year 2020-21.
This announcement was made by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India in the concluding session of the weeklong nation-wide “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations held on August 27, 2021.
Lauding the farmers of the State for adopting solar pumps in such a big way, Chief Minister, Sh. Manohar Lal said that it was one of the steps taken by the Government to double their income by reducing farm input costs.
Giving details about the scheme, Dr. Hanif Qureshi, Director General, New and Renewable Energy Department and HAREDA said that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India has launched the PMKUSUM scheme in 2019 with target to install 20 lakh standalone solar pumps for which Haryana was given a target of 15,000 pumps for the year 2020-21 with a total cost of Rs. 520.00 Crore.
Under the scheme, standalone solar pumps of 3 HP to 10 HP capacity are being installed in the State with 75 percent subsidy. The Government of India is providing 30 percent Central Financial Assistance and the State Government is providing 45 percent subsidy. The farmer has to pay only 25 percent of the total pump cost. These pumps can be installed by farmers/water user associations/ community/cluster based irrigation system etc. only for irrigation purpose.
He said that in the dark/black zones only existing diesel pumps are allowed to be converted into solar pumps provided they have used micro-irrigation techniques to save water. Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PMKUSUM) has provided an opportunity to farmers to shift from diesel pumps to solar pumps. Analysis of data shows that the beneficiaries of PMKUSUM are either marginal farmers who didn’t have electricity connection or those who were using diesel pumps.
Dr. Qureshi further said that these pumps were installed with 5 year AMC and insurance cover for natural calamities, theft and burglary etc. without any additional cost to the farmer.
He further said that Haryana is an agrarian State and there are about 6.5 Lakh electric pumps and 3.0 lakh diesel operated pumps. These solar pumps are not only eco-friendly but will also reduce the cost of cultivation as there will be no recurring cost on electricity and diesel. The modules of solar pumps have a life of 25 years and when compared to diesel operated pumps will pay back their subsidized cost in about 1.5 years.
These pumps are operated during daytime only and, therefore, farmers do not have to go for irrigation during nighttime, he added.
He said that the 15,000 pumps installed in 2020-21 have added solar capacity of about 105 MW in the State and have resulted in reducing the carbon footprint by about 76,000 tonnes annually. He informed that the response of the farmers to this scheme is overwhelming and against the target of 15,000 pumps, the Department received more than 42,000 online applications. Seeing the response, the Department has fixed a target of 22,000 pumps for the current financial year with a total project cost of Rs. 844.00 Crore for which applications will be invited shortly after the finalization of rates and firms by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India.
By: Madhur Vyas