The Indian state of Jharkhand has been granted a $310 million (£243m) loan for a project that aims to increase access to electricity.
The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank signed the loan agreement for the Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project, which will help build new infrastructure to provide “reliable, quality and affordable 24×7 electricity”.
The project will also focus on developing institutional capacities of state-owned power transmission and distribution companies and improving their operational performance.
It will support smart meters, with two-way communication and backend IT infrastructure deployed in select urban towns. The technology is expected to provide consumers with better access to data and encourage them to reduce their electricity consumption.
They are part of the Indian Government’s ‘Power for All’ programme, which aims to add more than 4.5GW of generation capacity by 2022, including 1.5GW of solar power, through a mix of private and public sector investments.
Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said: “Jharkhand was one of the first states’ to join the Power for All plan and is making efforts to improve access to power through reforms in transmission and electricity distribution. With demand for reliable power expected to almost double in the coming years, the project will help meet the energy needs of the state for its economic growth.”