Maharashtra reduces load shedding for farmers in rainfall-deficit areas

The farmers will now be able to run their irrigation pumps for 12 hours instead of eight.

Published: 23rd August 2017 08:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2017 08:40 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers sprinkle fertilizer on a wheat field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (File | Reuters)

Image for representational purpose only. (File photo | Reuters)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra state cabinet on Wednesday decided to relax load shedding for farmers in areas where rainfall was scant this year. 

The farmers will now be able to run their irrigation pumps for 12 hours instead of the earlier eight. This will ensure adequate water at least for a few crops, a senior CMO official said.

The cabinet has decided to form a committee led by a guardian minister to decide the relaxation in every district. The agriculture officer and executive engineer of related discom will be members of the committee. They will decide on additional power supply for irrigation pumps and the government will bear the cost of additional power supply, the officer said.

The cabinet was also told that though 90 percent sowings have been completed, 19 talukas are battling a water crisis due to delayed rains. The agricultural pumps from these talukas will be provided electricity for 12 hours. However, orders have been given to ensure availability of drinking water and there won’t be a big drop in ground water table, the officer added.

The state cabinet also decided to widen the crop loan waiver net and include crop loan account holders from April 1, 2009 to July 31, 2017 as beneficiaries of the scheme.

Initially the scheme was announced only for crop loans that had gone bad between 2012 and 2016 primarily due to drought conditions. However, the scope of the scheme was widened multiple times to include more farmers under it. On Wednesday the cabinet also decided to include loans availed by fishermen.

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