Farmers of all 18,000-odd villages in Gujarat will get power supply during the day time for agriculture purposes by the end of the year 2022, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced on Thursday.
The BJP government in the state has allocated Rs 3,500 crore to create the necessary infrastructure for this ambitious "Kisan Suryoday Yojna" (KSY), Mr Rupani said addressing a gathering Tilakwada town in Narmada while launching the project for 39 villages of the district.
In October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme, aimed at providing electricity during the day time to farmers for irrigation and farming purposes, for the entire state, and villages of different districts are being covered in a phase-wise manner, Rupani said.
"Farmers have been demanding that they be given agricultural power supply during the day, as going to fields in the night to irrigate the crop is dangerous. That is why we have approved this scheme having a budget of Rs 3,500 crore," the chief minister said in his address.
He said his government's target is to provide electricity for agricultural purposes during the day to 4,000 villages by January 20 and to all the 18,000 villages by the end of year 2022.
"Now, farmers can work during the day and rest at night," he said.
Mr Rupani said unlike the past Congress rule, the BJP-led dispensation in Gujarat is the "farmers' government".
He alleged that some protesting farmers were shot dead during Congress rule over 25 years back in Gujarat.
Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel on the occasion said the state government will give a subsidy of Rs 7,500 crore this year by providing cheap electricity for agriculture.
"Since long, we have not increased the power tariff for farmers. Though the cost is increasing, we have kept the tariff at only Rs 60 paise per unit," he said.
"On behalf of farmers, the government will pay the difference of Rs 7,500 crore to GUVNL (state power entity) as subsidy this year," Mr Patel said.
He said the entire state will be covered under the Kisan Suryoday Yojna in three years.