Linking Aadhaar with irrigation pumpsets is for documentation purpose only, says Minister

George says there is a small confusion about electricity required for each irrigation pumpset and this move will help solve it

Updated - July 11, 2024 08:48 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2024 08:47 pm IST - KALABURAGI

Energy Minister K.J. George addressing a media conference at the Zilla Panchayat Conference?Hall in Ballari on Thursday.

Energy Minister K.J. George addressing a media conference at the Zilla Panchayat Conference?Hall in Ballari on Thursday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Dismissing speculation over the State government’s intentions to link Aadhaar with irrigation pumpsets, Energy Minister K.J. George has clarified that the move is only for documentation purpose.

“Free electricity up to 10 HP is being supplied to all irrigation pumpsets. There is a small confusion about electricity required for each irrigation pumpset. There are instances where illegal irrigation pumpsets are getting free power supply,” he said.

“If we can link Aadhaar with the RR number of irrigation pumpsets, we can solve this problem and get a clear idea of which irrigation pumpset requires what amount of energy. That is why we are linking Aadhaar with the RR number of irrigation pumpsets,” he said.

“Linking Aadhaar with the RR number of irrigation pumpsets will also help us provide better quality power to farmers. It is for documentation purpose only. There is no ill-intention behind the move,” the Minister told mediapersons in Ballari, after a meeting of officials of the district administration, people’s representatives and officials of the Energy Department at the Zilla Panchayat Conference Hall on Thursday.

The Minister clarified that there will be no power cut for irrigation pumpsets of up to 10 HP even if they are being used for lifting water from river course without permission.

“Free power supply is for authorised irrigation pumpsets up to 10 HP. Some farmers lift water from river course without permission using pumpsets of more than 10 HP. Power supply will be discontinued for such pumpsets. We will not discontinue power supply to pumpsets up to 10 HP used for lifting water from river course even without permission. We will think of regularising them,” Mr. George said.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to ensuring the welfare and development of farming communities in the State, Mr. George said that his department has managed to supply quality power for seven hours a day without load-shedding even during drought when electricity production was a challenge.

“We are committed to generating power to meet the State’s requirements. Yes, there are some minor issues which result in power outage. We will fix them. I have decided to hold a district-level meeting once every three months to ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers,” Mr. George said.

The Minister also promised to regularise irregular irrigation pumpsets situated up to 500 m from electricity transformers to bring more farmers under the ambit of free electric power supply scheme.

“Those irrigation pumpsets which are more than 500 m away from transformers will be provided with solar irrigation pumpsets under the PM-KUSUM Component B Yojna. The Union and State governments will provide 30% and 50% subsidies, respectively. Farmers will have to spend only 20% of the cost,” Mr. George said.

On filling vacancies in his department, the Minister said that a notification will be issued in 15 days for recruiting 2,000 linemen.

“Generally, linemen, after getting recruited and working for some time, seek transfer to their native districts. This leads to shortage of linemen in some districts, especially in Malnad and Coastal districts. Keeping this issue in mind, we are planning to recruit local candidates hoping that they remain in their native districts,” the Minister said.

On complaints regarding erratic supply of power and frequent power outage, Mr. Gerorge said that he has directed the State-owned Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) to hold frequently district-level meetings of Chief Engineers and people’s representatives to address such issues. He then asked Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) to send a representative to Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meetings.

Legislators Ganesh and B.M. Nagaraj, Additional Chief Secretary of the Energy Department Gaurav Gupta, KPTCL Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Ballari Deputy Commissioner Prashant Kumar Mishra and senior officers were present.

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