Farmers cry foul as Southco disconnects power supply to agricultural lands

Koraput: Hundreds of farmers in Kanagaon area under Bandhugaon block of Koraput district are now in distress over the poor execution of micro lift irrigation scheme as they have alleged that the electricity supply to their lands has been disconnected due to non-payment of bills.

As per their allegations, they have been asked to pay heavy electricity bills even though the motor pumps that draw and channel water into their farmlands have remained unused over months.

Farmer Dilip Kumar Kandapan alleged, “The officials are saying that as long as we don’t clear the bills pending since last five months, they will not provide electricity. Water is very much essential for irrigation and if we fail to supply water to the crops, we will suffer a huge crop loss.”

Another farmer Sitaram Wateka said, “Initially electricity was supplied for a period of two months. After that they disconnected one out of the two phases. How can we pay the bill when we have not used the motors?”

As per reports, last year, as many as 17 projects were implemented by the Lift Irrigation Department under the micro scheme while four to five farmers had combinedly deposited Rs 10,000 for each of the projects. A few days after the project was made functional, the electric motors went defunct, sources said.

Meanwhile, assuring that the problem will be sorted out in a day or two, Laxmipur SOUTHCO SDO, Tusharkant Rout, said “Either they have used the motors or it may have happened due to false meter reading. It’s not a big problem; it can be sorted out in one day. Let the farmers come to office with the bills.”