Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Monday that from January 1, 2018, free power will be supplied 24×7 to the agriculture sector all over the state. He said it was a New Year gift to farmers, and Telangana will create history as the only state in the country to provide 24-hour free power for some 23 lakh pump-sets. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Rao said that the government will begin removing auto-starters from agricultural pump-sets in December.
“Don’t think that we are taking up this drive to save power. We are more concerned about saving ground water than power. With the availability of power round-the-clock, farmers will have the flexibility to use borewells at any time as per their convenience. In Undivided AP, due to erratic power supply, no one knew when the power would come and go, due to which farmers installed auto-starters to draw water as and when the power came. But now, with 24×7 free power there is no such need.” He said auto-starters will now be redundant. They deplete groundwater levels, which will prove detrimental for farmers later. “I request farmers to remove auto-starters voluntarily,” he said.