Farmers were asked to pay five per cent i.e. Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 and several conditions were imposed.
Mumbai: Despite having installed only 7,000 of the proposed five-lakh solar pumps in five years on a pilot basis during 2014-19, the Devendra Fadnavis-led state government has once again initiated steps to install an additional 7,000 solar pumps ahead of the elections.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in Maharashtra in 2014, the chief minister announced that he would install five lakh solar pumps in five years, and declared a pilot project to install 10,000 pumps. However, the tenders were approved at a higher price of nearly rs 1 to Rs 2 lakh per solar pump. Farmers were asked to pay five per cent i.e. Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 and several conditions were imposed. With all of this, the scheme got a very poor response from farmers and after more than two years, only 7,000 pumps were installed.
Once again, 7,000 solar pumps will be installed and tenders will be floated soon, power minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule told The Asian Age. While the earlier scheme was implemented by the Mahavitaran company, this time, the state government has asked MEDA(Maharashtra Energy Development Agency) to implement the scheme.
The Union government will share 40 per cent of expenditure while the state government and Mahavitaran will share 30 per cent, each, said a senior officer of the energy department. The proposal will be sent for a nod from the cabinet in three to four weeks after approvals from finance and other departments, said sources.