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NABARD plans to lend Rs. 500 crore to Escoms

Nagesh Prabhu


Funds are for taking up the Nirantara Jyothi scheme in their respective regions

Gescom, Hescom have already submitted proposals seeking financial assistance


Bangalore: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Karnataka, is in talks with Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) and Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM) to extend a finance of Rs. 500 crore for taking up the Nirantara Jyothi scheme in their respective regions.

NABARD would finance the two power supply companies under its new initiative — Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA) — a longer tenure product launched last year.

Speaking to The Hindu, Venkatesh Tagat, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Bangalore, said both Gescom and Hescom have already submitted proposals seeking financial assistance from the bank for implementing the Nirantara Jyothi scheme, which ensures 24x7 electricity to non-agricultural consumers in rural areas. The scheme bifurcates the supply networks of IP sets from non-agricultural consumers and it would reduce energy losses.

NIDA was launched last year with a focus on providing direct funding support for development of infrastructure facilities for promotion of agriculture and rural development. NIDA enables the bank to extend financial assistances to State Government undertakings for development of infrastructure in rural areas. Karnataka is the first State to utilise the funding under this programme launched last fiscal.

Mr. Tagat said: “Gescom and Hescom have approached us seeking financial aid. We have already received proposals from them. But we need more financial and other details from the companies to clear the long-term loan.”

Hescom has sought a fund of Rs. 300 crore, out of its total project requirement of Rs. 500 crore.

“We are also planning to finance Bescom and it is yet to submit the application.” The State Government is implementing the scheme at a cost of Rs. 2,123 crore through the power distribution companies in two phases in 126 taluks. This would ensure not only enhanced power to villages, but will also improve the quality of power supply for the IP sets.

Replacement

He said NABARD, in association with a private firm, has already implemented a Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) power project for replacement of inefficient IP sets with new high energy efficiency pump sets (NHEP) in Doddaballapur taluk.

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