Meghalaya : 132.8 millian dollar loan for power distribution

To make the power distribution system in Meghalaya stronger, a $132.8 million loan agreement was signed between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Indian government on Monday.
Dr. CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank & ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance who signed for the Government of India, and Mr. Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission who signed for ADB are among the signatories to the Meghalaya Power Distribution Sector Improvement Project.
The project will bear the state government’s “24×7 Power for All” initiative and will aid in reducing high technical and commercial shortcomings through network strengthening, metering and billing efficiency improvements, said Dr Mohapatra after signing the agreement.
Konishi said, “Technological improvements to the distribution network adapted to extreme weather, introduction of smart meters and online meter reading, billing, and collection systems will help improve operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the state’s distribution system”.
Remote rural areas in the state still have to face irregular power cut-offs due to overloaded distribution networks and substations that use outdated technology, resulting in technical and commercial (AT&C) losses.
A statement issued by the Union Finance Ministry said, the Government of India and the state government of Meghalaya began a joint ‘24×7 power for All’ initiative to provide more improved power supply to all electricity consumers.
Construction of 23 substations, renovation and modernization of 45 substations with provision of control room equipment and protection systems will be covered by the project.
2,214 kilometers of distribution lines and associated facilities will be installed and upgraded that will cover three out of the six circles in the state.
180,000 households will benefit from the installation of smart meters.
The loan is proposed to be supplemented by a $2 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction that will finance renewable energy mini-grids for improving power quality and supporting income generation activities, especially for women and other socially disadvantaged groups in three villages and three schools.
A distribution sector road map and a financial road map will be developed for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) through the project. The capacity of MePDCL will be strengthened by these road maps to operate and manage the distribution of networks.