Sukmani Nag, a resident of Dhodrepal’s Patelpara hamlet in the Bastar district of the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, oozes confidence as she speaks about solar-powered irrigation, at a meeting with six other women from her village. She emphasises how the solar-powered lift irrigation system has helped farmers in the area.
“The solar-powered lift irrigation system is ensuring that farmers in Patelpara can grow vegetables even in summer and winter seasons when water becomes scarce. All of us met and planned for the lift irrigation system which uses water from the perennial Kasandi Munda Bahar nullah flowing by the village. We didn’t like the idea of borewell as it draws out precious groundwater,” Nag told Mongabay-India.
This irrigation system was launched in November 2016 as a flagship scheme of the Chhattisgarh government. Chief engineer Sanjeev Jain from Raipur-based CREDA, which comes under the energy department of the Chhattisgarh government, said, “CREDA has installed near about one lakh irrigation pumps (95,935 exactly) across the state under the Saur Sujla Yojana. On a daily basis, 1,000 pumps are being set up. ” Significant work has taken place in Bastar for solar intensification in irrigation, he said.