Assam Irrigation Department set to sell Solar Power!
GUWAHATI: The State Irrigation Department hopes to export surplus power to the APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd) when it will complete the first phase of PMKSY- HKKP (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana- Har Khet Ko Pani). The Department hopes to complete the yojana's phase-I within May-June, 2020.
The PMKSY was formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation 'Har Khet Ko Pani' (Water to each cultivation) and improving water use efficiency under the 'More Crop Per Drop' policy in a focused manner. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister had accorded approval to the Yojana on July 1, 2015. It was, however, approved in Assam in 2018-19 with as many as 4,770 projects in phase I - 2,344 projects to be run with solar energy and 2,435 with electrical energy. The total cost of the phase - I projects is Rs 244 crore, and the Centre has so far released Rs 130 crore to Assam, a top official of the Department said.
The projects were scheduled to be completed by March 2020, the official added. "The projects, however, couldn't be completed as scheduled due to the late approval of the projects in Assam. Besides, the COVID-19 lockdown has further delayed the works. Of late, taking the advantage of the relaxations in the lockdown, we've written to the governments in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi not to prevent the vehicles carrying PMKSY equipments from coming to Assam, as the vehicles are carrying the equipments. Now we hope to complete the phase-I PMKSY projects by May-June this year.
"The irrigation coverage in the State is 27 per cent, and the completion of the PMSKY phase - I projects will cover 19,000 hectares of land, raising the irrigation coverage in the State up to 30 per cent. In that case, we'll be able to sell the surplus power to be generated from our solar power projects to the APDCL. Each of the 2,334 solar power projects will generate 2.5 KW per day. When we won't have to draw water from the project we can sell the surplus power. We've already had talks with the APDCL to this effect," the official said.
The phase I of the PMKSY is being carried out in 14 districts - Barpeta, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup (M), Kamrup, Kokrajhar, Sivasagar, Bongaigaon, Darrang, Sonitpur and Nagoan.
The Rs 896-crore PMKSY phase II projects in the State - 3,862 solar and 11,288 electrical - are yet to be approved.