Work on installing solar power-operated pumpsets through the Agricultural Engineering Department has been in progress in Thottiyam block in the district. As many as 23 solar pumps have been sanctioned for the block of which installation of six had been completed. The balance 17 units would be installed in course of time, said K. S. Palanisamy, District Collector. The Collector inspected a few solar pumpsets at Ezhupatti village near Thottiyam and ascertained the efficiency of the pump.
The beneficiary-farmers informed the Collector that they could now operate 5 HP motor for drawing water. The total cost of the solar panel was Rs.4.14 lakh, of which Rs. 3.16 lakh amounting to 80 per cent of the cost, was released as subsidy by the Central and State governments. The balance 20 per cent of the cost Rs. 98,750, was contributed by each of the beneficiary. The Collector said that the wells which had dried up and left abandoned were being rehabilitated through the special scheme for the block.
P. Murugesan, Executive Engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department, said the department would also set up solar panels for drawing water using higher capacity motors up to 7.5 HP and 10 HP. The Department had already received 67 applications from farmers. Interested persons can contact the department for necessary assistance, he added.