In the Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh, a major problem that farmers face is the dearth of irrigation facilities especially in the areas where there is no electricity. Lack of electricity had made it impossible to utilise the water resources which were available in large quantity. Some farmers had water pumps but they had no electricity to run those pumps. Therefore those pumps remained unutilised or had to be run on diesel which made the entire exercise very costly.
To provide relief to these farmers, the Saur Sujala Yojana, a scheme launched by the Chhattisgarh government has been utilised very effectively. Solar pumps were being installed under this scheme at various places to benefit the farmers. These pumps were installed as a joint effort of the Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency) CREDA and the agriculture department. With the help of these pumps the farmers are now able to utilise the available water resources to irrigate their fields. These pumps were cheap to install as well as to operate. With the help of these pumps the farmers are now producing various types of crops all over Jashpur.
The pumps are offered at a negligible price. Surface pumps and submersible pumps of 3 HP and 5 HP capacity pumps were provided to the farmers. The farmers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Category got the pumps at 10 thousand rupees and 15 thousand rupees respectively. Similarly the farmers belonging to Other Backward Classes category got the pumps for 15 thousand rupees and 20 thousand rupees respectively. The General Category farmers got the pumps at a cost of 20 thousand and 25 thousand rupees respectively.
The farmers have been utilising these pumps to grow rice, wheat, tomatoes, chilies, cabbages and other various types of crops. This has helped them increase their profits by a significant degree. Most of the farmers have been able to double or triple their profits. Farmers in many villages all over Jashpur have been benefited from this scheme. Also, the unique initiative called Sampann 40 by the district administration has also has a very significant role of the Saur Sujala Yojana in it. The Sampann 40 synchronises various schemes by different departments and Saur Sujala is one of the most important among these scheme.
Saur Sujala has brought a ray of hope for a lot of famers. They have been able to change their lives with the help of Saur Sujala. In certain regions of Jashpur, farmers would have to work as labourers in others parts of the state because the profit from their farms were not enough to support their families. This has changed to a considerable degree now. These farmers do not have to go out in search of other work anymore because they are now getting profit from their own fields.
In 2016-17 Jashpur district had set a target of installation of 700 solar pumps. However, 938 pumps were installed against the target. In 2017-18 the target was set to install 1200 pumps but 1675 pumps were installed against the target.