The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a project to popularise solar pumping system among farmers for irrigation in the country, aiming to reduce sudden the surge in power demand during the irrigation season.
The approval came at the Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board will implement the project ‘Agricultural Irrigation through Solar-Powered Pump’ at an estimated cost of Tk 407.20 crore by December 2020.
Under the project, some 2,000 solar water pumps will be installed in 10 Palli Bidyut Samities in 10 districts Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Bogura, Naogaon, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Madaripur and Cumilla.
“We want to spread solar pumps across the country to reduce pressure on electricity during irrigation season,” said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a briefing after the meeting.
He said another goal of the project is to avoid diesel-driven pumps for reducing the emission of pollutant particles.
Of the total project cost, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Tk 367.62 crore, while Tk 37.94 crore will come from government fund and Tk 1.63 crore from the own fund of the organisation concerned.
The ownership of the solar pumps will be handed over to farmers after 10 years following 15 percent down payment and 85 percent payment in installments.