Agri Business

Rabi output in Maharashtra likely to be affected as State snaps power supply to defaulting farmers

Radheshyam Jadhav | Updated on: Jan 28, 2022
Farmers agitating at Sangamner against power cuts

Farmers agitating at Sangamner against power cuts

Shetkari Sanghatana leader slaps legal notice on the government

The rabi output in Maharashtra is likely to get affected as the State government has launched the drive to snap power supply to agricultural water pumps to recover dues of about ₹41,000 crore.

According to Energy Minister Nitin Raut various State departments including the Urban Development Department are not paying their dues to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL). Also, farmers have not paid dues of ₹41,000 crore. The State Energy Department has started a drive to stop power supply to defaulters. The State government has earlier launched various concession schemes to recover the dues but failed.

As the government is cutting the power supply, farmers across the State are agitating. Shetkari Sanghatana leader Anil Ghanwat has slapped a legal notice on the government saying that cutting power supply to farmers is a breach of the Food Security Act. Ghanwat said that the rabi crop would be affected if the government continues to snap power supply to water pumps.

However, Minister Raut recently said that the government has no other option than to take stringent steps to recover the dues and streamline the functioning of MSEDCL which is reeling under financial crisis.

Why rabi crop is a lifeline

The final sowing report of the State government shows that compared to the average 51.20 lakh hectare under rabi cultivation, 55.70 lakh hectares ( 108.79 per cent) is under cultivation this season. There is a massive rise in foodgrains and pulses. “ Farmers are expecting some good returns from rabi as kharif crop was damaged by unseasonal rains and farmers are facing financial problems. A lot depends on rabi crop. If the government starts creating more problems by snapping power supply, distress is going to multiply” says farmer Hemant Pawar.

Farmer leaders drew attention to the rising number of suicides in the State and have asked the government to stop the power cut drive.

Published on January 28, 2022
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