Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday launched a Rs 2,340-crore scheme to drill 2 lakh borewells free of cost for state’s farmers in the next four years.
“We will stand in support of farmers who do not have irrigation water source other than borewell water. In all the constituencies, we plan to drill 2 lakh borewells. Not only that, we will also give casing pipes,” said Reddy.
He said the scheme — YSR Jala Kala — was on his party’s election manifesto.
Using hydrogeological information, officials will determine where to drill the bore. The cost of survey and boring will be borne by the government,” pointed out Reddy.
“My government has taken another step for the sake of farmers, fulfilling the promise made during elections. During my 3,650-km padayatra, I saw the difficulties faced by farmers,” said Jagan.
On Monday, drilling fo 163 borewells has been scheduled, one each in the 144 rural constituencies and 19 semi-urban constituencies.
“I am very happy to start this scheme because I do not want to lose the faith Andhra farmers reposed in me,” he said.
“Farmers can apply online or take the help of volunteers in village secretariats for free,” he said.
The state has created a dedicated website for farmers to avail of the free borewell drilling service at www.ysrjalakala.ap.gov.in. Farmers can also contact toll-free number 1902 for suggestions and complaints on the scheme.
Employing hydrogeological expertise, officials will determine the most suitable place in a farmer’s field to drill the borewell.
In case a borwell fails to yield water, the Chief Minister said, the government will try to drill one more for such farmer.
Similarly, if a farmer’s existing borewell fails, another will be drilled for him under the scheme.
Reddy said the government had also decided to install free electric motors on land of eligible small and marginal farmers along with the scheme.
“For small and marginal farmers, not only drilling bores, we will also go a step ahead and fix motors. Officials said this will cost another Rs 1,600 crore,” he said.
Recalling his father and former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s legacy of giving free power to farmers, Reddy said he was going two steps further as his son to drill free borewells.
As many as 5 lakh acres of farmland in Andhra is expected to benefit from this scheme.