Power supply in Meghalaya will get a boost with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approving a $132.8 million loan to improve the power distribution network in the state.

Sources said the project will construct 23 substations, renovate and modernize 45 substations, including the provision of control room equipment and protection systems.

It will also install and upgrade 2,214 km of the distribution lines and associated facilities covering three out of the six circles in the state.

“Through this project, antiquated electromechanical meters will be replaced with smart meters, which will benefit about 180,000 households,” sources said.

The project will help develop a distribution sector roadmap and a financial road map for the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL).

These roadmaps will strengthen the capacity of MePDCL to operate and manage the distribution networks.

Meghalaya power minister James K Sangma also took to Twitter to announce the approval of the loan by ADB.

“Happy to announce that the @ADB_HQ has approved a loan of $132.8 mn to improve & upgrade the power distribution network in #Meghalaya. The project fully supports Meghalaya’s initiative in improving the distribution system & financial sustainability of the Department. @CMD_MeECL,” Sangma said.

The loan will be supplemented by a $2 million grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction that will finance mini-grids.

This will improve power quality and support income generation, especially for women and other socially disadvantaged groups, using renewable energy sources in three villages and three schools.

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