Farmers in parched lands get additional 17% power subsidy

The state cabinet granted Wednesday a further 17 per cent subsidy on power bills to farmers in areas facing water scarcity.

With this, the total subsidy goes up to 67 per cent.

At present, 6,250 villages have been declared water scarcity-affected.

Villages where kharif yield is less than 50 per cent of average produce are termed scarcity-hit.

Electricity bills sent post April 1, 2012, under water supply schemes in these villages will get a 50 per cent subsidy from the water supply department and 17 per cent from the relief and rehab department.

"The remaining 33 per cent will have to be paid by gram panchayats or regional water supply scheme operators such as those under Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran," said relief and rehab department principal secretary Milind Mhaiskar.

The state has already decided to allow payment of bills issued before April 1, 2012, in 12 installments under Abhay Yojana.

While the state has spent Rs 180.61 crore on cattlesheds, the Wednesday meeting decided that from January 1, the expenditure limit for big animals will be Rs 60 each a day and Rs 30 for small animals.

The government has set up 107 cattlesheds in Ahmednagar, two in Osmanabad, seven in Beed, one in Pune, 90 in Satara, 20 in Sangli and 109 in Solapur, housing 2,99,239 animals.

Meanwhile, there was 61 per cent water in the 2,468 supply projects in the state Wednesday. The maximum, 80 per cent, water avaialability was in Konkan and minimum, 19 per cent, in Marathwada.

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