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No cut in power supply to farmers in drought areas

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 16:22

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday said power supply to farmers from the
drought-prone areas of the state will not be cut off due to
outstanding bills.

Chavan told the Legislative Assembly that the state
government was considering making a financial provision to
enable the state utility `MahaVitaran` to meet conditions of
the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) which
has fixed norms regarding limit of such bills.

"There is a GR (government regulation) with
farmer-specific instructions that outstanding bills should not
be the reason for snapping electricity connection. If it is
done, the supply should be re-connected," he said replying to
a debate on the issue of drought-like conditions prevailing in
the state.

Chavan said his government was mulling over making
payment to the power distribution companies in order to meet
the conditions of the MERC.

Informing that he was in touch with the union
agriculture minister on providing assistance to farmers facing
crop losses due to drought-like conditions, the chief minister
said, "One suggestion is that of providing aid per quintal
which can be shared equally by the state and the centre, while
another is a market intervention scheme".

"However, past experiences have not been good. One of
these two suggestions would be implemented after thorough
deliberations," he added.

Admitting that the drought-like situation was
"serious", Chavan said he would meet the Opposition members
during the ongoing Budget session on the issue, saying the
government will extend helping hand to the distressed farmers.

He said new tankers were being brought and pressed
into service in districts as per the needs. At present, 421
tankers are supplying drinking water to more than 400 villages
and hamlets as on March 17.


First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 16:22
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