“The electricity authorities have given a contract to a private company for the installation of electricity connections for tubewells, which has become a reason for delay in issuance of the new connections,” said BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, while submitting a memorandum to the government in this regard.
Haryana’s agitator farmers, who have been on the warpath against three contentious farm laws for the past seven months, have now planned to take on the government a new issue — electricity connections for their tubewells.
The farmers have planned to gherao the state headquarters of the public sector power utilities in Panchkula on June 26 to press for their demands, with farmers’ body the Bharatiya Kisan Union also warning that if the issues related to tubewell connections are not resolved, then “the farmers will be forced to take stern action”.
The agitating farmers have urged the government to release the tubewell connections, which are pending since 2014, from the ongoing season itself. “The electricity authorities have given a contract to a private company for the installation of electricity connections for tubewells, which has become a reason for delay in issuance of the new connections,” said BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni, while submitting a memorandum to the government in this regard.
The government, on its part, said that it has recently released 9,401 connections for tubewells and has a target to release 7,621 more such connections by July 15 this year. Apart from these, as many as 40,000 more applicants are in the queue for tubewell connections, and the government will likely release these connections too June 2022. Haryana at present has a little over 6.5 lakh electricity connections for its tubewells.
According to Chaduni, the government has imposed a condition that the tubewell connections will be released if the farmer buys pumpset motors only from companies that have been selected by the department.
“This condition is unfair which should be withdrawn with immediate effect. The farmers can buy the motors from the open market at cheaper rates, in comparison to those identified by the government,” said Chaduni. The farmer leader further said, “The farmers are asked to make deposits in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 for a tubewell connection, as their share for the electricity transformer even in those cases where such transformers have already been installed. This condition should also be withdrawn.”
The BKU has also demanded that the farmers of areas that have been declared as dark zones because of low ground water level be allowed to increase the load of their electricity motors. The farmer outfit has sought a compensation at the rate of Rs 15 lakh per acre in lieu of installation of a tower of high-tension electricity supply on their fields, stating that such installations drastically reduce the price of the land concerned. Also, the BKU has demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh per acre to those farmers whose land falls under these electricity lines.
On its part, the government sais that it will examine the demands raised by the farmer outfit and has authorised over half a dozen companies from where the farmers can purchase pumpset motors.
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