The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, May 23
Chief Minister, Manohar Lal said that the circular on the penalty imposed by the power corporations on the farmers for power theft in the agriculture sector has been withdrawn. He said that the circular was issued on the recommendation made by the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) and the state government is not bound to follow its order.
Addressing a press conference here today, Sh. Manohar Lal said with the circular issued by the corporations, huge fines were being fixed on the farmers. He said that in the circular, the amount of fine was made up to Rs 6 lakh; whereas earlier if a farmer default was found, he was fined between Rs 2000 to Rs 20,000. “As soon as the state government came across this circular, it was decided that in the interest of the farmers, we will not allow this circular to be implemented,” said Sh. Manohar Lal.
Apart from this, an amount of more than Rs 6,000 crore is being given by the government to the power corporations for improving the feeders in the agriculture sector. He said that the government was taking 10 paise per unit tubewell electricity bill from the farmers, but it did not seem right to impose a heavy penalty.
Line loss of power utilities decreased from 34 percent to 11 percent
The Chief Minister called upon the farmers to not carry out power thefts. He said that the government has improved the infrastructure of domestic and industrial electricity. “The line-loss which was 34 percent in the year 2014 has come down to 11 percent now. The power corporations have benefited a lot from this,” he said, adding that after Gujarat, two corporations of the state – UHBVN and DHBVN have been included in the A-plus grade after improving the infrastructure.
He said that the state government has given 61,500 new tubewell connections, besides 50,000 solar pump connections under the PM Kusum Yojana. “In this way, huge relief has been provided to the farmers by giving more than one lakh tubewell electricity connections,” he added.
CM announces ‘Antyodaya Urja Suraksha Yojana’
Providing relief to the Antyodaya families of the state, Chief Minister, Sh. Manohar Lal announced ‘Antyodaya Urja Suraksha Yojana’, under which the families with annual income less than Rs 1 lakh and electricity connections being disconnected due to arrears of the bills; will be given electricity connections immediately by waiving off the arrears.
He said that 50 percent of the principal amount of outstanding electricity bills of such Antyodaya families or the average electricity bill of maximum one year; whichever is less, will be taken from them. For example, if the average annual electricity bill of a family is Rs 8,000 or Rs 10,000 and their total outstanding amount is Rs 6,000 rupees; then out of Rs 6,000, only Rs 3,000 will be taken from such families and if someone’s outstanding bill is more than Rs 20,000, then the average annual bill amount of Rs 10,000 will be taken. Also, this amount will be taken in installments in the next bills.
“The government has put a condition that the farmers will get tubewell connections in the areas of the state which have come under the dark zones; only when they will adopt micro irrigation; as we all have to take care of the water exploitation limit, otherwise it will be injustice with the next generations,” he added.
Villages to get 24-hours electricity by the end of the year
The Chief Minister said that Haryana is the first state in the country where 80 percent of the villages in the rural areas are getting 24-hours electricity. “In the year 2014, there was electricity supply in 105 villages, but as a result of our efforts, today 5,694 villages are getting 24 hours electricity and by the end of this year; the remaining villages will also be covered under 24-hours power supply by removing deficiencies,” he asserted.
He said that a campaign to save water is being run under the ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ Yojana. Moving in this regard, the government on May 5, also called upon the saints to take a pledge to expedite the campaign to save water. In this way, the government is making tireless efforts to save water, he added.
Next Jan Samvad programme in Mahendragarh from May 24 to 26
The Chief Minister said that till now Jan Samvad programmes have been organized in four districts and now it will be organized in Mahendragarh district from May 24 to 26. He said that good feedback is coming from the people about the policies of the government during the programmes. “People are openly discussing the benefits of the government schemes, about transparency in jobs among other policies,” he added.