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‘Stop tatkal scheme for power lines to farms’

Delta farmers have demanded the withdrawal of the tatkal scheme to get a conventional agriculture power connection as more than four lakh farmers were waiting for the past nine years to get an electricity line.

‘Stop tatkal scheme for power lines to farms’
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File photo of the delta farmers

Thiruchirapalli

Hence, the tatkal scheme would create unnecessary confusion among the farming community, they said. The State government recently announced a tatkal scheme under which the farmers could get the conventional agriculture connection within six months for which they have to pay Rs 2.5 lakh for a 5HP motor, Rs 2.75 lakh for 7.5 HP motor and Rs 3 lakh for 10 HP motor. 

“It is unfair and no other state in India had fixed such a huge rate. So, it should be withdrawn immediately,” said Swamimalai Sundara Vimalnathan, Secretary for Cauvery farmers protection association. 

Vimalnathan said, “Farmers on waiting list should be given priority for normal power connection and those with the self-finance scheme programme with a payment of Rs 10,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 should be given the connection immediately,” suggested Vimalnathan. 

Though the government had already announced that the state has surplus power it had failed to provide connection for the past six years, he charged. “And the announcement of the tatkal scheme and the rates were a big blow to farmers,” he pointed out. 

Vimalnathan pointed out that the state government provided 10,700 connections in 2014 when the delta was declared drought-hit and the farmers availed the connection under drought relief programme. 

“This year, the entire state is reeling under drought and the farmers have been struggling to dig bore wells. Hence the government should restructure the schemes to benefit delta farmers,” he appealed. 

Meanwhile, Arupathy P Kalyanam, General Secretary of Federation of Farmers Association said that it was the duty of the government to ensure adequate power supply to farmers. They need at least 20 hours of supply (it should be uninterrupted for eight hours to undertake farm works). However, farmers were getting power less than eight hours at present, he lamented.

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