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Web Exclusive | December 2012

Rajasthan to give 3,000 subsidised solar pumps to ryots

The Rajasthan government, buoyed by the success of solar water pumps in the first phase, is set to roll out a number of pumps in the next phase. With farmers able to save electricity and fuel (diesel) in as many as 14 districts, the State Horticulture Department will be distributing 3,000 solar water pumps across Rajasthan.

A senior official said that the government is planning to distribute the pumps by the end of the February. The department has already invited expressions of interest from solar pump set manufacturers.

Around 12 manufacturers have been shortlisted to supply solar pump sets in rural areas. Officials claimed the pump will be given to the farmers at a lower price as compared to the earlier distribution.

The 3HP solar power surface pump would cost Rs 4.25 lakh while the 3HP submersible solar pump with a maximum 75-metre head would cost around Rs 4.85 lakh. Last time the same pump cost around Rs 5.70 lakh. However, prices have come down due to competition, he added.

Under the scheme farmers will get 86 per cent subsidy on the cost of the pump, only having to pay the remaining 14. Officials explained that solar pump sets are attached to the water source. The pump's solar panel converts the solar energy into electrical power, which runs the motor to pump water. A 3HP solar water pump set saves approximately 15-20 units of power every day.

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