Karnataka to Give 10,000 Farmers Solar Powered Irrigation Pump Sets Under PMKUSUM

Highlights :

  • Karnataka Government and Central Government each will bear 30% of the cost under PMKUSUM while benefiting farmers will share 40% through bank loans.
  • Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd will choose beneficiaries (KPCL) through online mode.

The State Cabinet of Karnataka has cleared the proposal for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan-B (PMKUSUM) scheme in the state under which about 10,000 farmers will benefit from solar powered irrigation pump sets.

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‘Component B’ of the scheme envisages installation of 17.5 lakh standalone (off grid) solar powered irrigation pumps with a capacity of up to 7.5 horse power (HP).

Under the scheme, the Central Government and the Karnataka Government are going to bear 30% of the cost each. The remaining 40% has to be paid by the farmers but they can avail bank loans for that.

The complete cost of the project comes to more than Rs 30,700 crore and the Karnataka government will have to share about Rs 10,700 crore. Rest will be borne by the Central Government, as per the reports.

PM KUSUM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) that frees the farmers from dependence on the grid connected electricity for irrigation and other agricultural operations. Under the scheme, solar panels will be set up in the fields that will give free of cost power to the farmers.

The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Corporation Ltd (KPCL) will choose the beneficiaries through online mode. It has been reported that the scheme will benefit only those farmers who will buy new irrigation pump sets and not the ones who have already energised the existing pump sets.

KPCL can borrow Rs 2,500 crore from financial institutions for the implementation of the scheme as the Karnataka Cabinet will provide state guarantee for the same.

The implementation of PM KUSUM will have triple benefits. The farmers will no longer be dependent on the electricity companies (Escoms). The Escoms will have reduced power load and they will also not have to bear the cost of extending electricity lines to farmers’ fields. The government is also exempt from the subsidy burden.

Karnataka also has the distinction of rolling out India’s first state led scheme for solarisation of irrigation pumps– Surya Raitha about half a decade ago.

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