The Karnataka Cabinet on 11 March 2022 has cleared the implementation of Centrally-sponsored Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan-B (PM KUSUM-B) scheme under which farmers in the state will be provided solar-powered irrigation pump sets.
Sources informed that as many as 10,000 farmers in Karnataka will get the benefit of PM Kusum yojana which will free them from depending on the grid-connected power for agricultural works. Furthermore, the solar panels will be set up in the fields of cultivators to help them generate power for their IP sets.
Farmers would have to pay 40% of the cost in the form of bank loans and the Centre and the State would bear 30% cost of solar-powered IP sets.
Sources said that the total cost of the project will be around Rs. 30,723 crore, the State would contribute Rs, 10,697 crore and the remaining cost would be borne by the Centre.
Sources also told that the solar power would be given to only the new IP sets and not to those who have already energized their IP sets.
It must be noted that the beneficiaries under PM Kusum scheme would be selected through online mode by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd. (KPCL).
The scheme is being seen as a win-win plan for both the farmers as well as Escoms. While the farmers can run their IP sets without depending on the supply from Escoms that have staggered the supply to farm sector, the Escoms will be relieved of the power load and the expense incurred on extending its power network till farmers’ fields. It will also save the costs being incurred on subsidy for the government.
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