For the first time in several years, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation has set a target to provide 50,000 new agricultural service connections but 50 per cent of them would go to the farmers registered under the Fast Track Self Financing Scheme.
Farmers who have registered under the normal category are waiting for over two decades to get the power connection. According to Tangedco sources, there are over four lakh farmers waitlisted for the power connection in the State.
This year, the utility would provide 25,000 power connections to the farmers who had paid a one-time payment of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh under the self-financing scheme while about 22,000 farmers who had registered under the normal category till March 2003 would get the connection.
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association general secretary P Shanmugham questioned the Tangedco’s decision to provide 25,000 agricultural connection under the self-financing scheme when only about 22,000 farmers availed connection in the scheme in the last two years. “The State government has set a high target keeping an eye on the next year’s election. It will be difficult to provide a connection to 50,000 farmers considering the Covid-19 lockdown,” he said, demanding the government provide diesel subsidy to farmers who have registered for power supply and waiting for over 15 years.
“With day-to-day increase in the diesel prices, the farmers who are using the oil motor pumps for irrigation were spending twice the normal amount for the fuel. It will only lead to a loss for them,” he said.