The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $430m multitranche financing facility (MFF) to the Uttar Pradesh Power Distribution Network Rehabilitation Project in India.

The project will improve the efficiency and sustainability of power supply in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

This project will fund the conversion of 65,000km of rural low-voltage distribution lines from bare conductors to aerial bundle conductors, which in turn is expected to benefit about 70 million people in 46,000 rural villages.

It will also fund the construction of a parallel network of 11KV feeders with a total length of 17,000 km. This is expected to separate the distribution of power between residential consumers and agriculture consumers.

It is also expected to facilitate the use of solar energy so that agriculture demand can be met while also boosting duration of electricity supply to rural residential consumers.

The project will also boost gender inclusivity, corporate governance, and financial management capacity of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).

ADB principal energy specialist for South Asia Pradeep Perera said: “Reliable and sustainable power distribution and service is an important aspect to India’s growth and development. This project fully supports the government of India’s vision of ‘Power for All’ in a sustainable and inclusive way in the largest and one of the poorest states in India.

“Existing rural power distribution networks will be upgraded to enable the provision of reliable supply to customers in rural Uttar Pradesh in a financially sustainable manner.”

Besides the MFF, a $2m technical assistance (TA) grant is being provided from ADB’s TA Special Fund and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

Recently, ADB has agreed to provide a loan of $132.8m to enhance power quality and to upgrade the power distribution network in the northeastern state of Meghalaya in India.