Meghalaya government on December 21 proposed an investment to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore for revamping the power distribution system in the next five years.
After chairing a cabinet meeting, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said that the proposal for the action plan on revamp distribution sector scheme (RDSS) has been approved.
The scheme will be implemented by the Union power ministry where revamping of the distribution system and the distribution sector overall is going to be taken up for a period of five years.
“Under the scheme, the Government of India has sanctioned Rs 3 lakh crore for the different states and out of that Meghalaya will be putting up a proposal of Rs 2,500 crore. The proposal will be sent to the Government of India in the next few days,” Sangma added.
He then stated that this will be one of the biggest projects to be taken up by the state government as over Rs 2,500 crore will be invested. The chief minister further informed that through the project, the state will be getting funding from Government of India to the tune of Rs 1,350 per meter as subsidy.
“This will also be supported as 90:10 grant from Government of India that means 90 per cent of the infrastructure will be paid by Government of India and 10 per cent by the state,” he said.
“For the metering, Rs 1,350 will be given by Government of India and whatever is over and above that we leave it to the private sector that will partner with the Government of Meghalaya to implement those smart metering projects that are left in the state,” Sangma added.
The scheme will be implemented through the REC.
The Meghalaya chief minister then said that 12 to 13 per cent of the project will be for metering and rest of the 85 per cent of the project will be for the improvement in the distribution lines adding that implementation of the project may start towards the end of next year as it will take not less than 8-9 months to process the project.
“Further, if we are able to complete the project before 2023, then we will get further incentives especially in the metering as I was mentioning the metering component is about Rs 1350 is going to be given by the Government of India and if we are able to implement it better and on time then another Rs 600 will be given additionally per unit of the meters that are there,” he said.
The Meghalaya chief minister then said that this is a great opportunity for the state to revamp the distribution system. “It is a great project and we thank the Government of India for coming out with this project and we should take advantage of this at the earliest,” he asserted.
On being asked if the implementation of such a scheme would help heal the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) from bleeding, Sangma said that one cannot say that it will completely heal the corporation but it is a step towards it.
“One cannot say we can heal everything. It is a very complicated problem we are having but it is definitely a step towards ensuring that the transmission, the AT&C losses are reduced, other kinds of losses that are there, thefts that are there. All these aspects that are there will definitely help in improving it, definitely it will lead to better efficiency of the system,” he added.
The chief minister also informed that the state government is working towards 100 per cent metering. He added that efforts are on to create awareness among the people of the state about the importance of the metering system.