Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the ‘Mukhyanmantri Kisan Aaye Badhotri Solar Yojna’ which aims at increasing the annual income of farmers in the national capital by three to five times.
According to the scheme, approved by the Delhi Cabinet, maximum of one-third surface area of farm land can be used for installation of solar panels in such a way that agriculture activity is not affected.
After the Cabinet meeting, Mr Kejriwal told reporters that the present estimated annual income of farmers is Rs. 20,000 to 30,000 per acre.
“With the introduction of this scheme, farmers’ income will be increased by three to five times per acre,” the chief minister said, adding, “Farmers will not have to invest anything in this scheme. Around five companies have so far shown interest in it.”
Besides increment in income, the farmer will also get 1,000 unit free electricity per acre from the solar plant annually. The minimum height of solar panels installed will be 3.5 metres to ensure that agricultural activity is not affected, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Delhi government’s departments will also buy electricity from companies which install solar panels on the agriculture land.
At present, departments buy electricity at Rs. 9 per unit, but with this scheme, they will buy electricity at Rs. 4 per unit due thus saving Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 crore annually for the state exchequer.
“We hope that the farmers would start earning from this scheme in eight to nine months and this will become a model for the rest of the country,” Kejriwal said.
According to a statement issued by the government, the scheme will provide a source of additional earning to farmer starting from Rs. 1 lakh per year per acre with an annual increment of 6 per cent to reach Rs. 4.04 lakh anually per acre of land in the 25th year.
It stated that six acre of land will be required for installation of 1 MW solar plant which could generate approximately 13 lakhs units of electricity annually.
Solar Power Developer (SPD) will enter into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Delhi government departments for supply of solar power to departments like health, PWD and DJB, the statement said.