PATNA: The state energy department has speeded up the work of constructing agricultural feeders across the state as envisaged under the third phase of agriculture road map (2017-22) of the Nitish Kumar government and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) of the Centre.
South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) MD R Lakshmanan told this reporter recently as many as 86 agricultural feeders had already been constructed and the intermediate target was to up this number to 100 by August this year.
However, he said, the penultimate deadline is May 2019 for constructing 1,252 separate agriculture feeders across the state’s 38 districts. “Out of these, 505 agriculture feeders are to be constructed in south Bihar and the remaining in north Bihar,” he said.
Lakshmanan said the DDUGJY, launched by the Centre on July 25, 2015, aimed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to rural areas and construction of dedicated feeders for agricultural and domestic consumers, separately. Under this scheme, Rs 5856.37 crore has been approved for Bihar, out of which 60% cost is to be borne by the central government. While 30% of the cost is to be borne by the state government, the remaining 10% is to be borne by distribution companies.
He said rural agricultural and non-agricultural consumers were currently being supplied power through the same distribution network. As a result, 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply is not provided to agriculture and non-agricultural consumers.
Talking about the benefits of separate feeders, Lakshmanan said it would curb frequent power outages and prevent issues of low voltage problems.
“After the agriculture feeders are constructed, we will be able to meet the growing demand in a sustained manner, prevent power theft and reduce technical and commercial losses,” Lakshmanan said.