Bihar govt to provide subsidised power to farms by March 2022: Minister

The Bihar government will provide

electricity connection to every agricultural land at a lower rate in the state by the end of March next year, Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told legislative assembly on Tuesday.

Stating that it was Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's desire to provide power connection to farmers as they have to spend more on irrigation through traditional mode, Yadav said three lakh such connections have already been given so far.

Electricity under "Mukhya Mantri Krishi Vidyut Sambandh Yojana" is supplied at a very cheaper rate of 65 paisa per unit, the minister added.

The government has awarded tender to two companies for the purpose and instructed them to complete it by March 2022, Yadav said, adding that Rs 1329.61 crore will be spent in the next fiscal for the purpose.

The state government came out with the scheme as it is not possible to provide agri connection to every consumer because of the limited scope of the Centres "Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana", the minister said.

The minister was giving reply to the House debate on the budgetary demand of Rs Rs 8559.99 crore of his department for the 2021-22 fiscal which was passed by voice vote amid boycott by the entire opposition which was unsatisfied with the reply.

Stating that the government had in 2019 taken a decision to install "smart prepaid meter", Yadav said that 1,40,187 prepaid meters have been installed by February 2021 in different towns of the state.

"I am happy to announce that EESL in association with French company EDF will install 2.5 lakh prepaid meters in the next 18 months.

"The French company will provide maintenance for the next six years too," the minister said adding that installation of such meters would not only help in saving energy but will also prevent its misuse.

The state got two units of 110 MW each at Muzaffarpur and Barauni after it was bifurcated (in the year 2000), he said.

Highlighting the turnaround in the field of electricity, the minister said that the state is getting around 6000 MW of power supply daily at a subsidised rate.

The state government has earmarked Rs 6000 crore in 2021- 22 for giving subsidy on electricity to the consumers, he added.

Pitching for "one nation, one electricity tariff", Yadav said that the national average power rate is Rs 3.60 per unit while Bihar purchases it at a higher rate of Rs 4.12 per unit.

The minister sought the centres approval for Dagmara hydel project as the central government has made it mandatory to buy certain percentage of power from the renewable sources.

Had the Dagmara hydel project been functional, the state would have saved Rs 375 crore annually on this count, Yadav said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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