July 04, 2020

Two years for agro feeders

Patna: All Bihar districts would get dedicated feeders for agriculture in the next two years, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Wednesday.

The state took baby steps in separating agriculture feeders from general feeders in November 2017 when one of these was started at Naubatpur in Patna district. The beginning coincided with Bihar’s third agricultural roadmap that President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled.

According to the plan announced by Modi at the pre-budget consultation with stakeholders from agriculture and allied sectors, 296 power sub-stations will be set up to provide electricity to 1,312 dedicated feeders for power to agricultural fields.

Work on 75 of 123 power sub-stations to be built by the South Bihar Power Distribution Company for implementation of the roadmap has started. The North Bihar Power Distribution Company has started work on 75 of its 173 sub-stations. The companies have also started working on setting up the dedicated feeders – 82 and 102 respectively.

The south and north power distribution companies have a target to set up 565 and 747 agriculture feeders respectively.

Under the new initiative, power lines would be taken right up to the fields.

Farmers generally need electricity to run water pumps. At present, majority of the farmers in Bihar use diesel-run pumps, so shifting to electricity will bring their cost down to almost one-fourth from now.

The government aims to provide power connection to 60,000 farmers through dedicated feeders in the launch year (2017-18).

Modi, who heads the finance portfolio, underlined the importance of reducing the input cost for farmers towards the goal to double their income by 2022.

Animal and fish resources minister Pashupati Paras and cooperatives minister Rana Randhir attended the pre-budget consultation on Wednesday along with senior officials, including agriculture produce commissioner S.K. Singh. Farmers also shared their problems and urged the government to take steps.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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