The Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development (JAKEDA), Department of Science and Technology today conducted an awareness programme to sensitize the farmers regarding use of Solar Energy for powering irrigation pumps.
The programme was conducted under the chairmanship of Commissioner Secretary, Science & Technology, Saurabh Bhagat here at Pulwama. Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary, Additional Director J&K Science Technology and Innovation Council, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, JAKEDA, Executive Officers, JAKEDA, besides officers from Horticulture and Agriculture Departments, district administration Pulwama and officials of JAKEDA attended the awareness programme.
During the programme, Saurabh Bhagat informed the officers and the farmers about various benefits and incentives being extended by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under PM KUSUM scheme, which is primarily meant to uplift the farmers.
Commissioner Secretary said that the scheme allows the farmers to install subsidized Solar Powered Pumps up to 10 H.P capacity, for irrigation purposes with a choice of AC/DC Surface and Submersible Pumps.
Commissioner Secretary also informed about the Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Scheme, under which a collective subsidy of 65% shall be provided to the domestic consumers of DISCOMs for installation of Rooftop Solar Plants for offsetting their electricity bills under the Net-Metering mechanism.
Regarding the Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Scheme, Commissioner Secretary said that such schemes are the only and viable solution to the existing strain on the electricity availability in whole of the UT.
He added that such schemes will be implemented in the DC office complex Pulwama and in all government offices in near future to end the dependency on electricity. That will set an example for the general public to reap the benefits out of the highly subsidized scheme of Government of India, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner said installing such pumps will relieve the farmer community of the burden of electricity charges and will thereby strengthen them economically. This will in-turn increase the net income of the farmers.
Pertinently, PM KUSUM scheme has broadly two main components. Under Component “B”, the Diesel Powered Pumps could be replaced by Solar Pumps and New pumps could also be installed in No-Grid areas under decentralized application, whereas under Component “C”, Electrical Pumps could be replaced with Solar Powered Pumps by the farmers.
Under both categories, the Ministry provides a subsidy of 50% of the cost of the pump, 30% of the cost is being provided by the Government of J&K and the beneficiary/farmer has to bear only 20% cost of the pump, which can also be financed by any bank at meager interest rates.
The scheme also allows installation of community/cluster-based irrigation pumps up to 10HP capacity by Water User Associations. It was informed that an initial target of 161 Solar Pumps has been allocated to the Pulwama District.
The District Level Committees have also been constituted to overlook the smooth implementation of the PM-KUSUM Scheme in the UT. In addition, the farmers can also set up Grid Connected Solar Power Plants in the capacity range of 0.5 MW to 2.0 MW on Barren Land banks for the sale of power to DISCOMs and make an annual earning of Rs 40 lakh per MW.
Later, pamphlets containing all the related information about Solar Pumps under the PM-KUSUM scheme and Rooftop Solar Scheme, like prices, subsidy amount, beneficiary share, and contact numbers of district nodal persons were distributed among the farmers and the officers.