The controversy over Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. receiving 295 applications in a record 7.25 minutes from farmers for setting up mini-solar power plants has now taken a new twist. Some farmers, who could not apply, have decided to challenge the “authenticity of this lightning speed” before the Karnataka High Court.
According to sources, in their petition, these farmers would also demand a technical inquiry to know if these applications have been genuinely filed. The revised solar energy policy allows farmers to set up solar power plants with a capacity of 1 to 3 MW on their farmland. They have been promised that Escoms will buy the power from them at a rate of Rs. 8.40 a unit.
Accordingly, KREDL called for online applications from farmers at 11 a.m. on Thursday, on a first come, first served basis. Though the total capacity on offer was 300 MW, KREDL had announced that it would receive applications to the tune of 600 MW to make up for those who might opt out. But many farmers were amazed to find that the process had been completed in a mere 7.25 minutes.
Ramesh, a farmer from Hubli, said the application had 10 fields to be filled up. “Something is fishy as 16 applications were filed within the first minute and eight of them were filed within 41 seconds. Is it really possible?” he wondered.
Another farmer, Taufik Momin, questioned the logic of opting for online method for a scheme which is intended for farmers. Instead, they could have gone through the conventional method which would have been convenient for farmers, he said.
Source: <a href=”http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/solar-scheme-row-farmers-to-move-hc/article6489665.ece”>The Hindu</a>