Realising the growing need of irrigation amongst the small and marginal farmers in the state, Punjab government has decided to give over 1.5 lakh tubewell connections to farmers after notifying a new agriculture policy. The process to release the new connections has already begun.
The decision comes in the backdrop of National Green Tribunal allowing Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to process applications of farmers who had applied for power connections to set up new tubewell power connections. While allowing the release of new connections, the National Green Tribunal had directed the state government to first formulate a policy for release of connections in an organised and systematic way.
In fact the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had earlier too had maintained that the small and marginal farmers would be given new tubewell power connections all over the state on priority.
“With the passionate efforts of Punjab government, the National Green Tribunal has lifted the ban on release of tubewell connections in Punjab. I appeal to all tubewell applicant farmers of Punjab whose demand notices have already been issued, to deposit the requisite amount in the concerned Sub Division Office of PSPCL and avail this golden opportunity to get their tubewell connections and be part of the progress in Punjab and contribute to the development of the state,” deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said, while making this announcement.
Keeping in view the concerns regarding depleting ground water in many parts of the state, the government has ensured that the new connections were released while keeping in consideration over-exploited and the safe areas with regard to groundwater levels.
The availability is being backed with the adequate power supply for irrigation so that the farmers can avail benefits.
Who are eligible
The applicants having land between 1 to 2.5 acre who have registered their applications from January 1,2014 to March 15, 2016 would be eligible for new tubewell power connections.
The eligible applicants have to submit their option for priority tubewell power connection to the concerned Sub Division Office of PSPCL on a plain paper by April 30,2016.
Earlier Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had asked power utility Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) to formulate a new policy to grant fresh tubewell power connections to the marginal and small farmers for the current fiscal, realising that they would require facility in a major way.
Badal has been reiterating that the Punjab government was committed for the welfare of farmers, who were already facing a lot of hardships due to squeezed margins on account of non-remunerative MSP and have been finding it hard to pay their debts.
Giving much needed relief to the farmers, the state government earlier has also reimbursed PSPCL the pending arrears of Rs 357 crore on account of tubewell bills, concerning the period when tariff was imposed on farm sector. PSPCL had taken off these arrears from the accounts of the farmers concerned.