India, ADB sign $132.8 million loan pact to strengthen, modernise Meghalaya discom sector

  • Under the project, 23 substations will be constructed; 45 substations will be renovated and modernised

  • The loan is proposed to be supplemented by a $2-million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction

New Delhi: The Centre and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $132.8 million loan to strengthen and modernise Meghalaya’s discom sector and improve the quality of power supplied to households, industries, and businesses in India’s north-eastern state of Meghalaya. The signatories to the Meghalaya Power Distribution Sector Improvement Project were Dr CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank & ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who represented the government, and Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

‘Loan pact will help Meghalaya reduce AT&C losses’

After signing the loan agreement, Dr Mohapatra said that the project supports the state government’s “24×7 Power for All” initiative and will help the state reduce its discoms’ high technical and commercial losses through network strengthening, metering and billing efficiency improvements.

“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,” said Konishi.

Though Meghalaya has achieved 100 percent electrification, remote rural areas in the state suffer from frequent power interruptions due to overloaded distribution networks and substations that use outdated technology, resulting in high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. The government and the state government of Meghalaya embarked on a joint 24×7 Power for All Meghalaya initiative to provide uninterrupted, quality, reliable, and affordable power supply to all electricity consumers.

Meghalaya to get 23 new substations, modernisation of 45 existing ones

Under the project, 23 substations will be constructed; 45 substations will be renovated and modernised, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems, 2,214 kilometers of distribution lines and associated facilities, covering three out of the six circles, will be installed and upgraded. Installation of smart meters will benefit about 1,80,000 households. 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.

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The project will help develop a distribution sector road map and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL). These road maps will strengthen the capacity of MePDCL to operate and manage the distribution networks. 

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