AP to become a role model to nation AP Power Utilities create history by supplying free power to more than 18 lakh agricultural services during day time only
The Andhra Pradesh Government has proved its commitment towards the welfare of farmers again under the leadership of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy by taking the ultimate decision to continue the free power for agriculture scheme for the next 30 years.
For the first time in the State, the AP power utilities have created history by supplying free power to more than 18 lakh agricultural services during day time under the flagship Navaratnalu scheme. Prior to June 2019, the 7 hours power supply used to be given in two spells, including night to farm sector which gave sleepless nights to farmers.
The firm decision of Chief Minister on supplying 9 hours free power to agriculture in daytime only has turned as a big advantage to farmers for the last two years to improve their living standards and farming productivity. The Commitment of Chief Minister on free power scheme is receiving overwhelming appreciation from farmers and other sections as well.
The government spent around Rs 1700 crore for upgrading agriculture feeders as only 3,854 feeders were capable out of 6663 feeders prior to 2019 to supply 9 hours free power in two spells during daytime.
The power utilities had completed the feeders and other infrastructure development works within a year and were able to supply free power to 100 per cent dedicated agriculture feeders during the rabi season. The utilities had already supplied free power to around 90 per cent feeders in Khariff season in 2020 as well.
The subsidy given by government to the agricultural sector in 2018-19 was Rs 6,030 crore as against Rs 8,559 crore in 2020-21. This means that an additional subsidy of Rs. 2529 crore was given in 2020-21 which is 40 per cent more compared to the 2018-19.
Apart from fulfilling the 9 hours free power supply promise, the government has decided to continue the scheme for the next 30 years and has been developing all necessary power infrastructures to continue the free power scheme.
As part of this, the government will exclusively set up a 10,000 MW solar power plant for making the free power scheme a permanent scheme which benefit the entire agriculture sector in the State and create confidence among farmers on getting free power to agriculture. “It is a historic decision by Chief Minister to continue the free power scheme for the next 30 years as no State in the country had taken such a bold decision,” said Minister for Energy Balineni Srinivasa Reddy.
During a review on 9 hours power scheme through teleconference, the Minister said that Chief Minister took the decision to provide 9 hours free power to farmers without even 9 minutes of interruption of power supply that would give a boost to the rural economy. “Farmer is undoubtedly the backbone of the State Economy and the government has given highest priority to the agriculture sector,” he said.
The Minister has appreciated the efforts of the APTRANSCO and DISCOMS officials and staff for speedy implementation of free power scheme which is very prestigious for State government. “All the farmers in the State are happy with effective implementation of free power scheme. The State iswitnessing a significant change in agriculture sector for the last two years which will help to boost economy and improve the livelihoods of farmers,” he said.
The Secretary for energy Srikant Nagulapalli thanked the Energy Minister for his strong support to power utilities in making free power scheme successful. The power utilities were able to complete the feedersup gradation works within few months with the support of the Ministerand State government.
The agricultural feeders which are more than 6000 feeders consume around 15,700 Million units of energy per annum which is almost 24% of the total energy demand (66000 MU per annum) in the state. The State government sanctioned more than 1.3 lakh new agriculture connections in the last two years.
The Secretary further said that the State government had introducedDBTas a farmers- friendly policy that would give power to farmers to askUtilities to supply quality power to agriculture sector. It would also fortify the rights of farmers in getting free power for agriculture purpose and enhance the accountability and responsibility among power utilities, he said.