Sultanpur Lodhi farmers go solar, install panels to run tubewell motors

Sultanpur Lodhi farmers go solar, install panels to run tubewell motors

Solar panels connected to tubewells in Sultanpur Lodhi. Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Kapurthala, June 1

Having not been sanctioned new tubewell connections, a large number of farmers of the Talwandi Mand area of Sultanpur Lodhi are opting for solar panels to run their tubewell motors.

The trend is catching up as the farmers, who have already installed solar panels, are spreading a word about its benefits. Ranging from a capacity of 3-7.5 horsepower, these panels cost between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, say farmers.

High fuel rates

The fuel cost has zoomed. If we have to run a diesel motor of the tubewell, it costs us around Rs 1,200 per day. This is no longer a viable option. —Mall Singh, bala village

Even though the farmers are not getting any subsidy, they still feel that it is a good substitute for the traditional diesel-operated motor. “The cost of fuel has zoomed. If we have to run a diesel motor of the tubewell even for an hour in the paddy season, it costs us around Rs 150. For running the motor for eight hours, it will cost us Rs 1,200 per day. This is no longer a viable option,” said Mall Singh of Baja village, who has installed two panels in his fields.

“Till the last season only two or three farmers in our area had installed solar panels, now at least 45 farmers around my village have opted for these,” said Resham Singh, a retired agricultural officer.

Resham Singh said, “Our villages fall along the Beas and are flood-prone. The Mand area extends up to 8,000 hectares. Of this, 5,000 hectares fall in the ‘dark zone’ where no one can get a connection for tubewell.”

Cost between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh

Ranging from a capacity of 3-7.5 horsepower, the solar panels cost between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh, say farmers.

#solar energy

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