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CM Yogi’s ‘Holi’ gesture: Electricity bills waived for farmers with private tube wells in UP

Yogi Cabinet to implement decision with retrospective effect from April 1, 2023, to benefit 1.5 crore farmers of the state

Yogi Govt provides Rs 1800 crore in 2024-25 budget for the scheme

Rural & urban farmers of UP depending on around 14.78 lakh private tube wells will benefit from the decision

Energy Minister AK Sharma and Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi express gratitude to CM Yogi for approving the scheme

By Our Correspondent

Lucknow: The Yogi government has announced a big gift for farmers of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Holi festival. In a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday, it was decided to waive electricity bills of farmers with private tube wells with retrospective effect from April 1, 2023. The decision will benefit around 1.5 crore farmers of the state. The government has provided Rs 1800 crore in the 2024-2025 budget for implementation of the scheme.

Furthermore, the government has put forth a proposal for a scheme aimed at assisting farmers with outstanding electricity bills predating April 1, 2023, in bill settlement without accruing interest and offering them convenient installment options.

Informing about the decision following the Cabinet meeting at Lok Bhawan, Energy Minister AK Sharma said that with this announcement the government has kept its promise of providing 100 percent exemption from power tariff to the farmers owning private tube wells in the state.

He added: “There are about 14.73 lakh private tube wells in the rural areas and 5,188 in urban areas of the state. During our tenure, we have converted about 200 Gram Panchayats into Nagar Gram Panchayats, eliminating the difference between the two. As such, a total of 14.78 lakh tubewells will benefit from the decision of the Cabinet.”

According to Sharma, on an average 8 to 10 farmers benefit from one tube well in terms of irrigation of their fields and thus, the total number of beneficiaries of the scheme will reach about 1.5 crore in Uttar Pradesh. “If we consider an average family size of 5 members per farmer, approximately 6-7 crore individuals stand to benefit from this scheme. For outstanding dues predating this date, we are devising an interest-free scheme, which will be rolled out soon.”

UP cabinet meeting
<strong> UP cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath

He informed that the Chief Minister had earlier made a provision of Rs 2400 crore for this scheme in 2023-24. Energy Minister AK Sharma and Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi also expressed their bgratitude to CM Yogi for this important decision in the interest of the farmers.

Cabinet nod for 2 units of 800 MW each in Anpara

The UP government has approved the proposal for setting up two units of 800 MW with the help of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Anpara during a Cabinet meeting held at Lok Bhawan on Tuesday. Energy Minister AK Sharma informed that two MoUs were signed with the NTPC in the 2023 Global Investors Summit of which the first proposal to set up two 800 MW units in Obra D was approved by the Cabinet last year itself, while the second to establish two 800 MW plants got the Cabinet’s nod on Tuesday.

This initiative will advance through a 50-50 partnership between the state government and NTPC. The total project cost amounts to Rs 8624 crore, with the first unit expected to be operational in about 50 months, followed by the second unit in 56 months. The financial structure involves 30 percent equity shared between the state government and NTPC, while the remaining 70 percent will be financed through loans. The coal mine will be acquired from NCL, which is located nearby, paving way for production of cost-effective electricity.

Green Hydrogen Policy also gets Cabinet’s approval

In a landmark decision aimed at promoting eco-friendly energy in Uttar Pradesh, the Cabinet approved the Green Hydrogen Policy at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Lok Bhawan on Tuesday. Energy Minister AK Sharma said: “So far, hydrogen production technology has relied on electricity or gas, known as gray hydrogen. A significant effort is now underway to transition from gray hydrogen to green hydrogen. The policy outlines an ambitious goal to produce one million metric tons of green hydrogen annually within the next 4 years, by 2028. The policy duration has been set for 5 years. Industries establishing themselves within this timeframe will receive subsidies and other incentives totaling Rs 5,045 crore.”
He added: “These industries will be eligible for subsidies ranging from 10 to 30 percent on capital expenditure, with the first 5 industries enjoying discounts of up to 40 percent. Additionally, the policy includes provisions for energy banking, offering a 100 percent rebate on intrastate electricity charges and billing and transmission charges for interstate transactions. Moreover, there is a provision for a 100 percent exemption in electricity duty.”

Notably, hydrogen is used as fuel in big factories like fertilizer plants, petrochemical plants and steel plants.

Formation of State Capital Region gets Cabinet nod

Yogi government has also approved the proposal related to the formation of Uttar Pradesh State Capital Region and other regional development authorities. This ordinance seeks to advance development projects through collaboration and coordination among all authorities, while ensuring the preservation of their respective entities. The primary aim is to foster planned development akin to the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR). Notably, recognising the necessity for organised growth within the state capital region, particularly in districts like Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Hardoi, Sitapur, and Unnao, which neighbor Lucknow, there has been a long-standing demand to curtail unplanned development.

Cabinet’s go ahead to Phase-1B of Lucknow Metro

The Yogi Cabinet has also given its go ahead to the proposal of Phase-1B East-West Corridor of Lucknow Metro. As part of this initiative, a metro line spanning 11.865 km from Charbagh to Vasant Kunj will be established. Suresh Khanna, the Minister of Finance and Parliamentary Affairs, emphasized that this endeavour by the Yogi government aims to enhance transportation convenience in Lucknow. The project is estimated to cost around Rs 5801 crore, with a targeted completion date set for June 30, 2027. Khanna further outlined that the plan entails the construction of 12 stations, comprising 5 elevated and 7 underground stations. The metro line will consist of 4.286 km elevated track and 6.879 km underground track.

 

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