Mumbai: Agricultural pumps owners owe overdue of Rs 13,000 crore to the State electricity department. Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has appealed to farmers to pay at least Rs 5,000 crore dues.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company waived off Rs 9,000 crore to farmers across the State, yet the farmers have to pay dues worth Rs 13,000 crore.
“There is Rs 13,198 crore of defaulted bills for agricultural pumps. The State government waived off the interests and penal interest of Rs 9,712 crore,” said Bawankule.
Marathwada has the highest number of defaulters having Rs 8,094 crore overdue from farmers, whereas Konkan is last on the list with Rs 7.99 crore overdue.
“The MSEDCL gave connections to 2,24,000 consumers from high tension supply. It will give continuous supply to the consumers,” said Bawankule.
Currently, 15 to 20 farmers are getting a connection from generators having a capacity of 65 to 100 KVA. After this new system, two farmers will share only one generator. “It will also avoid transmission losses,” he said.
“Estimated cost of the new system is Rs 5048.13 crores,” he said.
‘Pawar responsible for dues’
Minister for Energy Chandrashekhar Bawankule alleged that farmers have stopped paying agriculture pump bills since Sharad Pawar had instructed them not to pay the bills. He said the NCP chief is responsible for pending dues of electricity bills towards power provided to agriculture pump. An amount of Rs 22,000 crore is due from farmers.