Koraput: Resentment brewed among farmers of Kanagaon in Bandhugaon block of this district over frequent power cuts over last five months.
While the electricity department claimed that the power cuts were due to non-payment of bills, the farmers say their power bills were excessive.
As per the allegations of farmers they have been asked to pay heavy electricity bills even though their water pumps have remained unused over months.
According to sources, 17 projects were implemented by the Lift Irrigation Department last year. The farmers deposited Rs 10,000 each after which they were provided with motors and pumps to draw water to their lands.
However, a few days after the project was made functional, the motors stopped working, the farmers said, adding that they were however given hefty bills.
When the farmers did not pay the bills, the SouthCo officials cut the power supply to their farmlands and they are not able to irrigate farms for five months.
“Electricity was provided only for two months. But now they are asking us to pay the bill for five months,” a farmer said.
Similarly another farmer said, “The electricity officials are adamant that they will not supply power until the bills are paid. How can we pay the bill when we have not used the motors? Now, we are not able to irrigate our farms. We will suffer crop loss and SouthCo will be responsible for it.”
When contacted, Laxmipur SouthCo SDO Tusarkant Rout said there might be some misunderstanding. I will look into the matter and sort out the problems, he said.