How the Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao of Punjab checks depletion of underground water?

The new experiment-based approach of the Nobel laureates has “transformed development economics”. The imprints of this approach can be seen in the incentive scheme ‘Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao’ devised by the government of Punjab to save power and water.

Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao

  • The scheme aims to ensure that farmers use the power with restraint to pump out water from the earth.
  • Under this scheme, farmers will get a monetary benefit for less use of tubewell.
  • Every detail regarding the usage of power and the money transferred into account of farmer would be given to him on the phone.

How the scheme works?

If the motor capacity of a farmer who volunteers for the scheme is 1,500 units per month and he consumes only 1,200 units then Rs 1200 at the rate of Rs four per unit for the remaining 300 units would be transferred in his bank account.

It is a big irrigation reform in a state like Punjab where the water level is going down at a rapid pace between 50 cm to 60 cm.

Performance of the Scheme

The scheme which was launched last year as a pilot project by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on six of the state’s 5,900 rural power feeders that cater to 14.16 lakh tube wells.

As per the official data during last year’s Kharif season, 173 farmers who enrolled for the direct transfer payment scheme, saved around 1.75 lakh units of power and received about Rs 7 lakh.

From October 21 last year to June 20 this year, farmers saved 2.17 lakh units and earned Rs 8.69 lakh. Then, in just two months, from June 21 to August 20, they saved 2.06 lakh units and earned incentives totalling Rs 8.24 lakh.

The government of Punjab has extended the number of feeders for the scheme to 250, with the number of farmers more than tripling to 593 with a long waiting list.


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