Free Press Journal

Another shock: Power costlier for farmers


Mumbai: Farmers in Maharashtra, already burdened with huge loans that they are not being able to repay, are in for another shock: the Maharashtra Power Distribution Company (Mahavitaran) has more than doubled the tariff of subsidised power that is provided to farmers to run water pumps.

The Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sanghatana (VGS), an organisation committed to protect the interests of consumers, has appealed to farmers to hold protests in each district to put pressure on the government to revoke the decision.

The opposition Congress and NCP is already vocal in its criticism of the state government for not waiving off the loans that farmers have taken leading to a string of suicides. Both the parties have now decided to protest the hike in power tariff. According to Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, though the monsoon wasn’t too bad, farmers could not market their produce due to the anti-farmer policies of the state.

“Now Mahavitaran has increased the rate of subsid-ised power provided to farmers. The situation will become even more difficult and farmers will not be able to pay electricity bills,” Vikhe-Patil said.

“This is third hike in power rates since 2015. This hike is not acceptable to us and the government must intervene in the matter,” Pratap Hogade, president of VGS, said.