Commenting on the reasons for the delay, the spokesperson said the tenders to purchase solar farm pumps were retendered several times
Nagpur: MSEDCL has miserably failed to meet the solar farm pump installation target under Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Yojana (MSKY). The state government had set a target of installing 25,000 solar pumps in 2018-19 and another 50,000 between April and December 2019. However, so far it has installed only 2,150 pumps.
A MSEDCL spokesperson said the discom had received 1.94 lakh applications from farmers by July end. “We issued quotations to 93,700 applicants and asked them to select vendors. Of these, 22,800 selected vendors and 2,150 pumps have been installed so far,” he said.
Commenting on the reasons for the delay, the spokesperson said, “The tenders to purchase solar farm pumps were retendered several times due to lack of response. When the tenders were finalized, the letters of agreement (LoAs) could not be issued due to election code of conduct. Now, farmers don’t allow us to enter their field because their crop is young.”
The spokesperson further said that MSEDCL had been asked to set a target of installing 1,00,000 solar farm pumps by March 2020. “However, we will meet this target by December 2019,” he added.
MSEDCL’s performance in Vidarbha is no better. It had received 49,956 applications for solar pumps of which 15,108 were rejected due to various reasons. Quotations were issued to the remaining 32,469, of which 15,718 applicants paid the required charges to MSEDCL. Vendors were assigned to 6,592 farmers and survey was done in 3,433 cases. So far 626 pumps have been installed.
MSEDCL head office had revised the target for Vidarbha to August-end but now officials say that it will be met by October-end. “All our material is ready but farmers don’t allow suppliers’ men to enter their fields. Once rains are over, we can install even 500 pumps a day,” said another spokesperson.
The spokesperson further said MSEDCL had made a provision of another one lakh solar pumps. “We are giving new connections to farmers through high voltage direct supply (HVDS). If a farmer wants a solar pump instead of a conventional one, we will provide him the same. Even otherwise, if the cost of providing supply to a farmer is more than Rs2.5 lakh then he is compulsorily provided a solar pump,” he added.