VIJAYAWADA: As part of efforts to strengthen the network of free power supply to the agriculture sector and cover more farmers under the scheme of 9 hour daytime free power supply, the Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APCPDCL) is set to distribute power transformers to provide free electricity to the 50,280 newly released agricultural connections in its purview on Tuesday. People’s representatives will distribute the transformers to farmers in Vijayawada, Guntur and Ongole.
Briefing about the programme to Energy Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy and Special Chief Secretary (Energy) K Vijayanand in a teleconference, APCPDCL CMD J Padma Janardhana Reddy said the State government has released 50,280 new agriculture connections under the purview of APCPDCL.
The APCPDCL is providing power transformers free of cost under the HVDS (High Voltage Distribution System) Scheme. Discoms will also bear the expenditure of laying electricity lines up to 180 metres.
The infrastructure works pertaining to the new agriculture services to the tune of 17,293 in Ongole, 7,965 in Vijayawada and 3,878 in Guntur have already started. Farmers have been urged to cooperate with Discoms in completing the infrastructure development at the earliest.
The installation of transformers will help strengthen the daytime electricity supply network to agriculture sector. As the State government is committed to continuing the free power supply scheme to the agriculture sector for the next 25 years, it is going to implement the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, which benefits lakhs of farmers in the State. It will also empower farmers to ask the power utilities for supply of quality and reliable electricity.
Though the State government has decided to implement the DBT scheme as part of reforms initiated by the Centre, it has taken all steps to safeguard the interests of farmers, the CMD explained.Underlining the necessity of installing metres for agriculture connections, the CMD said it will enable farmers know the quantum of free power consumed by them. This will prevent the power utilities from transferring their losses to the farmers’ subsidy account and ensure transparency with regard to power purchases, the CMD informed.
Stating that the government will not impose any restrictions on the total number of free power connections, he said all the existing ones will be continued. The government will sanction new agriculture connections, regularise the unauthorised connections as well.
“The ultimate aim of the government is only to ensure all the eligible farmers in the State get free power for the next 25 years,” the CMD said.