"At the time when common man in Gujarat is paying between Rs 4-5 per unit of power, farmers in the state are paying 56 paise," said DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy and petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat while delivering an address at a seminar on Solar Power at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) on Saturday.
Hinting at the huge subsides the state government has to provide in supplying power to farmers in the state, Pandian also talked about how there were about 4 lakh pending applications for power connections of farmers in Gujarat.
"Agriculturalists are unhappy about these pending power connections. However, to give power connection to one farmer, we need to spend on an average Rs 1.25 lakh. This includes the cost for wires, poles, etc. So the government is going a little slow in providing new connections," Pandian said addressing the gathering.
In the 2012-13 fiscal, only 95,844 connections were given, which was the highest number of connections provided in a single fiscal since 2008-09. The state government figures also show that the power allocated to agricultural consumers have been steadily declining in Gujarat. In a span of ten years --- from year 2002 to 2012 --- the electricity consumption of farmers in the Gujarat has dropped by 11 percent.