New Delhi: To increase the income of farmers in the national capital by three times, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -led Delhi government on Tuesday approved a farm solar power scheme to provide an additional income of ₹ 1 lakh a acre per year to farmers.
The ‘Mukhyamantri Kisan Aay Badhotri Solar Yojana’ (chief minister farmer’s income solar scheme), approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, was first announced as a part of the government’s green budget this year.
Under the scheme, farmers will be able to provide one-third of their land to private companies on rent for ₹ 1 lakh per acre on a yearly basis. The government said that the rent will increase by 6% each year. The agreement will be for 25 years. The scheme is likely to rolled out by March next year.
“Delhi government has announced a big step for farmers in rural Delhi. They can earn huge income from lifted solar plant in their field which can earn them approximately ₹ 1 lakh per acre per year in their income. This would be a multi-fold increase from their current incomes," Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal said, while addressing a press conference to announce the decisions taken by the cabinet.
According to the statistical handbook of Delhi, the total cropped area in the national capital is 34,750 hectares.
To not hinder farming in the one-third area, the minimum structure height for placing solar plant will be 3.5 meters which will allow passage for tractors and other farming equipments.
Along with rent, the government also plans to provide 1,000 units of electricity per acre free of cost to the farmers. The electricity generated from these solar parks will be used to provide power to government offices. The move would save the government ₹ 300-400 crore.
“Farmers will also get 1,000 units per acre electricity free. This electricity, the companies will sell to different departments of the Delhi government like Delhi Jal Board. Through this scheme departments can buy electricity for ₹ 4 per unit against the ₹ 9 that they are paying right now. This will not only help farmers but also help the government save money and also provide clean energy to Delhi," Kejriwal added.
Separately, the cabinet also approved a ₹ 1 crore compensation for the family members of the martyrs from the army, navy and air force, Delhi Police, para-military forces, fire service, home guards and rescue force living in Delhi.