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Cabinet Approves KUSUM Scheme For Solar Power Plants on Barren Land Owned by Farmers

The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crore.


Updated:February 19, 2019, 10:05 PM IST
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File photo of PM Narendra Modi chairing a cabinet meeting.

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved the launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.

With an aim to promote use of solar power among farmers, the government’s target is to launch the Rs 1.4 crore scheme next month.

Under this scheme, farmers having barren or agriculturally unproductive land will be provided with financial assistance to setup solar power plants.

"This will help in increasing the farmer's income by many-fold," said finance minister Arun Jaitley at the Cabinet briefing on Tuesday.

The Centre has planned to provide 27.5 lakh solar pumps (17.50 lakh standalone + 10 Lakh Grid-connected) under the scheme.

It will help farmers install total 10 GW of Solar Power Plants of intermediate capacity of 0.5 to 2 MW each. It also envisages 50,000 Grid-connected tube-wells/lift irrigation and drinking water projects.

"The scheme also has direct employment potential. Besides increasing self-employment the proposal is likely to generate employment opportunity equivalent to 6.31 lakh job years for skilled and unskilled workers," said a government statement on Tuesday.

The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crore.

"The scheme will have substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of carbon dioxide emissions. The scheme combined together is likely to result in saving of about 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per annum. Further, standalone solar pumps may result in saving of 1.2 billion litre of diesel per annum and associated savings in the foreign exchange due to reduction of import of crude oil," said a government statement on Tuesday.

The scheme provides for installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of capacity up to 2 MW in the rural area. Along with this, installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to grid and solarisation of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and also enable them to sell surplus solar power generated to DISCOM and get extra income.

Lastly, the scheme will provide for solarisation of tube-wells and lift irrigation projects of Government sector.

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