U-15 Inter District Tourney: Shillong take down Tura to win final

U-15 Inter District Tourney: Shillong take down Tura to win final

Shillong, Dec 30: Shillong Cricket Association took firm hold of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s U-15 Inter District Tournament trophy after deservedly winning the final at Nongkhrah, Nongpoh, today by nine wickets.

Worthy runners-up Tura District Cricket Association won the toss and decided to bat first but could only manage 121/7 in their 20 overs, which SCA knocked off in 11.5 overs for the loss of just one wicket.

TDCA’s batters were never really allowed by SCA to get comfortable at the crease, that is except for Tura captain Harshit Prasad, who hit a fine 71 not out off 55 deliveries.

At 34/4, TDCA were in real trouble but Prasad and Agatchu Chetai K Marak (14), the only other batter to reach double figures, put on 54 runs for the fifth wicket. His dismissal in the 17th over was followed by a few big blows by Prasad, who hit 12 fours in all, to get Tura to 121/7.

Five bowlers were used by SCA, all of whom took at least one wicket. Aashish Kumar Lohar (2/12) was the only one to claim a brace, with Mewan Kitbok Kharpuri (1/20), Angkit Tamang (1/23), Md Wahid Ali (1/31) and Gaurav Jyoti Thakuria (1/33) taking one each.

TDCA were undoubtedly a strong side but in the field they had no answer to Shillong’s batters. Krishiv Choudhary was dismissed for 25 by Darnel Bilkam M Sangma (1/29) but man-of-the-match Rudra Singh Rathore (30 not out) and Tamang (23 not out) carried the side home with 8.1 overs to spare. SCA were also aided by 44 extras, including 37 wides, conceded by their opponents.

Rathore was the top scorer in the tournament with 202 runs. Tamang and All Jaintia Cricket Association’s Eshan Siangshai were the top wicket takers with 11 scalps each.

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Pema Choden Bhutia, Danube Kangjam and Sanwaka Surong crowned 18th Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021

Guwahati; Dec 30: Spellbinding an audience from all across the north-eastern region, Sanwaka Surong from Meghalaya, Pema Choden Bhutia from Sikkim, and Danube Kangjam from Manipur were crowned the title winners of 18th Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021 at the ITA Cultural Complex, Machkhowa on Wednesday evening.

The contestants traveled to Guwahati for several days of activities including grooming and training sessions conducted by Mega Entertainment, brand photoshoots and activities, followed by rehearsals, leading up to the Grand Finale of the pageant.

Earlier, Abhijit Singha, Founder of Mega Entertainment, had announced that there would be no runners-up titles in Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021, and all three winners would be crowned equally as winners of the pageant, with equal prize packages and benefits.

Speaking at the grand finale of the event, he said that Mega Entertainment was delighted to introduce the three winners of Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021 – Danube, Sanwaka and Pema.

“They have struggled their way to the top, managing to beat 47 other contestants. We are so proud and excited to be a part of their incredible journey,” Singha said.

20-year-old Pema Choden Bhutia, who hails from Sivik Lingdok, Sikkim, is currently pursuing her B. Tech in Civil Engineering in Bengaluru.

Speaking about her crowning moment, Pema says, “This is a dream come true. Sunsilk Mega Miss North East is a platform that not only gives women an opportunity to be themselves but also helps them to learn and grow. It helps women evolve and develop a vision for their lives.”

Pema has a vision to use her title and influence to advocate for education of the underprivileged. She also aims to represent her state in the Miss India pageant.

The youngest and most pampered of five siblings, Sanwaka Surong from Shillong is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Tourism.

She says, “I am still unable to believe that I actually won the crown. I feel truly blessed and the feeling is indescribable. I feel so grateful to God – if it was not for Him, and for the love and support of my family and my friends, realizing this dream would not have been possible for me.”

Twenty-one-year-old Sanwaka has lost both her parents, but with the help of her loved ones, she still stands strong.

She aims to use her own experience to help other orphans cope with the loss of their loved ones and help them understand that there will always be people to love them and support them.

She believes that losing somebody one loves should not weaken them, rather it should help one derive strength from the fact that they will always be beside in spirit and guide from above.

Her vision is to help promote responsible tourist behavior, so that the pristine nature of a tourist spot is not destroyed with irresponsible littering, overcrowding, and disrespectful behavior towards local people, their cultures and customs.

Another 21-year-old Danube Kangjam from Imphal, who is currently pursuing her law education, was inspired by Mega Miss North East 2015 Jessica Marbaniang, and since then it has been a dream for her to participate in this pageant.

She has been preparing for this day all along and says that winning the crown is indeed a dream come true.

“This pageant holds a very special place in my heart, and my ambition to come here brought me into the world of pageantry through the state pageant. So, I feel really grateful and happy on winning this crown.” Danube said.

She believes that this title will help her influence the youth and amplify her reach to a wider audience.

She aims to use her voice to speak out on a variety of social issues that concerns her like cybercrime, LGBT rights, body positivity and self-acceptance.

She looks forward to participating in national pageants to take her vision forward.

The three winners were bestowed with gifts and vouchers worth approximately Rs. 1 lakh each, as well as Personal Accidental Insurance worth Rs. 20 lakhs each.

The top-15 contestants participated in the Evening Gown presentation, where they showcased the creations by top fashion designers and brands like Jansai, Karan Thokchom, Arif Mukhim, and the Official Designer of Mega Entertainment Dipika Devi.

The judges who sealed the fate of this year’s winners included: Fashion & Lifestyle Promoter Monika Devi, advocate Manish Kr. Das, Mega Miss North East 2012 Ibethoi Thokchom, Fashion Designer Arif Mukhim, and Mega Miss North East 2018 and Femina Miss India Assam Jyotismita Baruah.

The pageant organizers were also judged for a series of sub-awards.

Nishigandha Gogoi won the Sohum Miss Trendy subtitle, Pema Choden Bhutia won Radisson Blu Miss Hospitality, Jyotika Boruah won Eyetex Dazller Miss Beautiful Face, Sanwaka Surong won the Shouthout NE India Miss Tourism North East subtitle, Moyuri Deori won the Pageant Times Miss Popular subtitle and Ringjoy Leivon was awarded the Sunsilk Hair Hacks Diva subtitle.

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SSA teachers’ association demands release of funds from State budget for pending salary

'SSA teachers deprived of rights and benefits'

Shillong, Dec 30: The Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA) on Thursday wrote a letter to the Education department for release of additional fund from the State budget for payment of SSA teachers’ pending salary.

In the letter to Ambrose Ch. Marak, State Project Director, SEMAM-SSA, the SSA teachers association stated that the funds released by Government of Meghalaya for payment of salary for August and September, 2021 after government of India released its central share being the additional funds of first instalment for Meghalaya, will be a bit of relief to the teachers.

“But this two months’ salary will not solve the SSA teachers problems and difficulties, and as far as salary matter is concerned the stand of SSA teachers is very clear we demand release of all our pending dues i.e till December, 2021,” Aristotle C. Rymbai, president of MSSASA said.

The MSSASA in the letter to the Education department reiterated that as a mark of protest against the State government for failing to release the additional funds amounting Rs.104 Crores lying with it for the last three years which is a funds for financial support for payment of SSA teachers salary as per Capping norms of ‘Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan’ a part of 10 percent state share borne by the State Government and also for non-releasing all our pending dues/salaries, the General Executive Committee of Meghalaya SSA Schools Association-Central Body unanimously decided that the “Non-Cooperation Movement” to all the programmes and activities of the State Government and the “letter campaign” to Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma and Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui will continue as announced earlier.

This will be followed by peaceful democratic protest of, “Black Flag Sit – in Demonstration and candlelight vigil” on 21st January, 2022.

“We are writing once again to request the State government through you to release the additional funds amounting of Rs. 104 Crores lying with it and to clear all the pending dues/salaries of SSA teachers in the State at the earliest possible so that further agitation can be retreated,” Rymbai stated.

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Cadre of banned HNLC surrenders before BSF

Shillong, Dec 30: On Thursday, a member of the banned militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Junel Tongper @ June surrendered before Inderjit Singh Rana, IG BSF Meghalaya Frontier at Umkiang border outpost, East Jaintia Hills district.

According to the BSF, the surrendered cadre was deployed as an area commander in East Janitia Hills, Meghalaya and he belongs to Lumphyllut village under Umkiang poloce station.

Tongper joined the outfit in the year 2010 and after training, he was actively working for the outfit.

He was apprehended by Meghalaya police in 2015, but later released on bail and absconded.

Tongper re-joined the outfit in November 2020 and was based at Panaipunjee under Kulaura police station of Moulvibazar district in Bangladesh.

The surrendered cadres stated that he is one such victim who was misled and misguided by the HNLC among other unemployed and less educated youths.

The BSF stated that taking advantage of his simplicity, innocence and economic situation, the HNLC lured Tongper to join the outfit, and thereafter, exploited him for their unlawful activity and malafide intention.

Meanwhile, the BSF Meghalaya is putting in all out efforts to help such misguided youths to join the mainstream.

The BSF also assured to provide such youths the facilities of skill development & vocational training and remunerative amount post surrender.

The BSF informed that in the case of Tongper, they were continuously in touch with him since last one year.

“The restless and intense efforts of BSF bore the fruits and finally Junel Tongper was motivated to join the mainstream. It’s a huge blow to the militancy in Meghalaya and more such misguided youths will join main stream in times to come,” the BSF said.

Meanwhile, the family members of the cadre expressed their gratitude towards the BSF on homecoming of Tongper.

Meanwhile, Rana, the IG Meghalaya Frontier of the BSF said that the insurgency/militancy gets opportunities to prevail due to illiteracy and unemployment.

He urged the local population, village heads to work hand in hand with BSF to eradicate these evils.

The IG BSF further said that the border force is continuously encouraging the youths of border areas to pursue their career in defence and Central Armed Paramilitary Forces and lead a life of peace, tranquillity and prosperity.

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U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy: Resolute Meghalaya celebrate dream victory

Shillong, Dec 29: Cricket’s ability to turn up incredible results was on show today as Meghalaya snatched victory from almost certain defeat by beating Arunachal Pradesh by one wicket in their U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match after a phenomenal chase.

Resuming their second innings in Bhubaneshwar on 91/6, chasing 223 for victory, Meghalaya’s lower order put up a sensational fight to claim the four points and, with it, second place in the Plate Group, only behind Arunachal, for whom this was the first defeat of the season.

Rohit Yadav, not out overnight on 19, batted for another 57 deliveries today but could only add another seven runs to his tally. The responsibility was taken up by Manish Sharma (51) and PM Santhosh (61 not out), both of whom have delivered this season with the ball but today demonstrated what they can do with the willow as well.

The pair put on 55 runs for the eighth wicket to get Meghalaya to 178, but that still left the team 45 to win. Santhosh received tremendous support from Navin Kumar Ray (3 off 35 deliveries) and Gavineal Marpna (2 off 13), who stoutly resisted the Arunachal bowlers as Santhosh knocked off the required runs.

Ray fell with the score on 196 with just the one wicket remaining. There was therefore little room for error and Arunachal made it more difficult by not conceding a single extra, meaning that Santhosh and Marpna had to do it all with the bat.

The nail-biting chase ended a little after lunch for one of Meghalaya’s best victories across any competition this year. This was the last of five matches for the U-19 boys and their third win in a row. Meghalaya had started the tournament with two defeats but turned things around brilliantly thanks to the hard work of the players and support staff and this win, against the best team in the group, made sure they ended in the best possible fashion.

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U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy: Meghalaya face uphill chase

U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy: Meghalaya face uphill chase

Shillong, Dec 28: Meghalaya still require 132 runs, but only have four wickets in hand, to beat Arunachal Pradesh after an interesting second day of their U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match saw 22 wickets fall.

Resuming their first innings on 80/4 in Bhubaneshwar, Meghalaya were all out for 124 before their bowlers then dismissed Arunachal for 128. That set Meghalaya a target of 223 for victory but they had already lost six wickets for 91 at the day’s end.

Kevin Christopher could only add seven runs to his overnight score to fall for 42 and Meghalaya lost their last six first innings wickets for just 32 runs.

Arunachal are the top team in the Plate Group but they also struggled with the bat in their second innings, producing only 128 compared to their 218 from the first innings.

Meghalaya claimed the first three wickets in two overs but Ankit Solanki’s 64 proved decisive as he carried Arunachal over the 100-mark. Meghalaya used just four bowlers in this innings, with the impressive, if a little expensive, Purav Agarwal bagging 5/53. PM Santhosh (2/18), Manish Sharma (2/32) and Navin Kumar Ray (1/23) were the other wicket-takers.

Chasing a 200-plus score was never going to be easy and Meghalaya could only reach 91 in the 40 overs they batted in the second half of the day.

Stitching partnerships together was the team’s problem, though opener Mrinal Das helped as much as he could with an innings of 32. His wicket reduced Meghalaya to 54/5 but hopes were partially restored with a 33-run stand by Christopher and Rohit Yadav, which was eked out over the course of almost 20 overs.

However, Christopher was dismissed in the last over of the day for 16, with Yadav not out at the other end on 19 with much responsibility on his shoulders going into day three tomorrow.

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Conrad Sangma inaugurates Makhel Heritage Conclave in Manipur

Conrad Sangma inaugurates Makhel Heritage Conclave in Manipur

Shillong, Dec 28: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday inaugurated the Mao Students Union (MSU) Makhel Heritage Conclave commemorating its 88th anniversary and conference under the theme, “Rekindling our Heritage” at Makhel in Manipur alongside Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar Singh Yumnam.

Speaking at the historic programme of the Mao Community, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma lauded the student body for putting up a grand programme to mark the 88th year of the Student Union’s formation.

He spoke at length on the importance of balancing politics and culture to safeguard people’s identity, heritage and enable people to connect to their roots. “We should balance our identity and heritage and work with the core philosophy to promote our identity vis-à-vis ensure economic growth of our people,” he said.

He said that India’s strength and challenge lies in its youth and it is imperative that the youth energy and potential is channelised in a constructive manner. “Our youth is our greatest strength… it could also turn out to be destructive if their potential o is not channelised into constructive work. Our Nation will progress if our youth are involved in national building,” he added.

He informed the gathering on Meghalaya’s youth policy that focuses on engaging the youth in a productive manner.

“The Youth Policy in Meghalaya will focus on “One Skill One Talent” making sure that every youth should get one skill and be allowed to hone their talent,” he said.

“The greatest strength of India is the Youth. And so we must ensure they give them importance, shape them in the right way so that they become empowered & independent citizens for our state, for the region and for the country as a whole.”

“The youth of the Northeast, especially the tribal should come out beyond the reservation mindset to compete with the rest of the world,” he asserted.

“My other message to our youth and this is a concept that my father used to always talk about. and that is about competition. (L) P A Sangma believed in competition. And he used to say that the youth of the northeast, especially the tribal need to start coming out of this reservation mindset and that we must go “Beyond Reservation”.

“By saying this he or I don’t mean that reservation should go away but it is the mindset that we must change and we must realize that we will need to compete with the rest of the world one day and we cannot go on thinking that we will get reservation.”

Conrad Sangma inaugurates Makhel Heritage Conclave in Manipur

“We need to develop a competitive mindset. We need to realize that we are as good as others if not better and then he can compete with anybody not just in this country but in the whole world and so the mindset of the youth needs to change and we have to encourage them to start thinking big.”

He also informed the gathering on the early child development program, which the State of Meghalaya is soon starting. “Meghalaya will be getting funding from the World Bank almost close to 150 Cr for an early childhood development program and we will be one of the first states in the country to be doing that,” he added.

“I am very happy that we are starting this special program run for adolescent girls and boys starting with a program for the girls first which will then supplement our vision and mission for the Youth Policy for overall development of our youth.”

Mao Students Union is one of the oldest Students Organization in Northeast and was founded in the year 1933. The Mao Students Union during its 88 years of existence has contributed for socio-economic development of the Mao community and the people of the region.

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U-15 Inter District Tourney: Shillong, Tura to meet in Thursday’s final

Shillong, Dec 28: Shillong Cricket Association and Tura District Cricket Association will meet in the final of the Meghalaya Cricket Association’s U-15 Inter District Tournament after both emerged victorious from their respective last-four contests in Nongkhrah, Nongpoh, today.

TDCA had defeated All Jaintia Cricket Association by 25 runs in the first semifinal before SCA cruised to a 10-wicket win over East Garo Hills Cricket Association.

Tura chose to bat after winning the toss and went at 9 runs an over to put on 182/5 in their 20 overs. Man-of-the-match Harshit Prasad was largely responsible for their big total thanks to his unbeaten 79, which came off just 60 deliveries and included 13 fours and a six. Four of the five bowlers used took wickets; Maremdor Sutnga (2/35) returned the best figures of them all.

In the chase, AJCA put up a good fight but were only able to post 157/8. Like Tura, they depended on one batter for the most part – Heiyoomiki Ryngkhlem, who struck 75 not out off 64 balls with 12 fours. Tura used six bowlers in all, with five of them claiming wickets. Agatchu Chetai K Marak (2/20) and Darnel Bilkam M Sangma (2/25) picked up a brace each.

The second game was a bit more one-sided. EGH won the toss and chose to bat but were bundled out for 45. Just two batters could reach double figures, with Happynews M Sangma, the Number 9, top-scoring with 14. Man-of-the-match Aashish Kumar Lohar returned the best figures of 4/11.

SCA had little trouble in reaching the target, which the opening pair of Rudra Singh Rathore (24 not out) and Krishiv Choudhary (14 not out) managed in 6 overs.

The final, also to be played in Nongkhrah, will take place on Thursday between Shillong and Tura, the two strongest teams to have emerged from the tournament.

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After High Court order Hima Sohra begins process of issuing NOCs

Shillong, Dec 28: After the Meghalaya High Court directed the Syiem of Hima Sohra to issue NOCs for renewal of trading licences to a group of non-tribal traders from Majai area under Sohra Syiemship earlier this month, the Syiemship has notified that the application forms for the same will be issued from December 23 to December 30.

V. V. Rymmai secretary of Hima Sohra informed that application form would have to be submitted to the office on or before January 8, 2022.

“After that the executive dorbar of the Syiem of Hima Sohra will scrutinise the application forms before issuing NOC,” Rymmai said.

It may be mentioned that the High Court had made this direction on December 16.

The secretary of the Hima Sohra said that as per the High Court order, it authorised the former to process for issuing of NOC to the non-tribal traders.

Rymmai said that according to the directive of the Meghalaya High Court it clearly mentions that the Syiem of Hima Sohra should issue NOC to the eligible applicants and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) thereafter, on receipt of the applications for which NOC has been obtained shall process the same within four weeks thereafter.

The non-tribal traders had filed a batch of writ petitions before the High Court, seeking the Court’s intervention against non-renewal of their trading licences, which were issued by the KHADC under The United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Trading by Non-Tribals) Regulation, 1954.

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U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy: Bowlers rejoice on 1st day of Megh vs Arunachal

U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy: Meghalaya face uphill chase

Shillong, Dec 27: Bowlers of both Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh had plenty to rejoice over as 14 wickets fell on the first day of the two states’ U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy match in Bhubaneshwar today.

Arunachal, the top team in the Plate Group, won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. However, although several players got starts, big partnerships were difficult to come by as Meghalaya kept chipping away with wickets at regular intervals.

Manish Sharma (3/42) and Purav Agarwal (3/73), two of Meghalaya’s most successful bowlers this season, took three wickets apiece while opening bowler PM Santhosh (2/41) chipped in with a couple of his own.

Arunachal’s saving grace came in the form of Amarjeet Sharma, who carefully crafted and unbeaten 112, which came off 160 deliveries. Thanks to him, his team were able to get to 218 all out but much credit also has to go to Number 11 Gollo Aga, who held off Meghalaya for 34 deliveries as he and Amarjeet put on 60 for the last wicket to take Arunachal from 158/9 to 218. Aga contributed 9 runs in all but his heroic resistance allowed Amarjeet to score at the other end.

By stumps on the first day, Meghalaya had reached 80/4, trailing their opponents by 138. The four wickets fell for just 42 on the scoreboard but then came Meghalaya’s stalwart batter and captain Kevin Christopher, who finished the day on 35 not out. For company, the skipper has Rohit Yadav, who is on 10 not out.

With three centuries and one fifty in the previous four matches, Christopher is number seven in the list of run getters this season in the Cooch Behar Trophy and Meghalaya will look to him to deliver another big innings.

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HSPDP decides to rebuild party ahead of 2023 assembly elections

Shillong, Dec 27: The general council meeting of the Hills State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) which met on Monday decided to ‘rebuild’ the party ahead of the 2023 assembly elections.

The HSPDP also decided that the party will reorganise itself in the districts and strengthen the party and face the elections in 2023.

“We are on the way to prepare for the 2023 assembly elections. We also decided to revisit our party issues,” newly elected president of the HSPDP K. P. Pangniang said.

Pangnaing said that issues of the party remain the same like – demand to amend Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

He also said that most of the issues of the party like border dispute with Assam, due to the participation of the two MLAs of the HSPDP the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) is trying to settle the matter with its counterpart.

The general council also discussed the need to raise the issue of a separate Khasi-Jaintia State.

“We will go ahead and we will work together with the Garo State Demand Committee (for separate Garo State) and raise our demand with the government of India,” Pangniang said.

Meanwhile, the party also decided to have cooperation with other regional parties of the State.

“The HSPDP will extend our cooperation and alliance with all the regional parties of the State,” Pangniang said.

It may be mentioned that the United Democratic Party and the HSPDP had fought the 2018 under the banner of the Regional Democratic Alliance.

This time around the party wants to tie up with other regional parties like the People’s Democratic Front and the KHNAM.

“We hope that our experience in alliance with the UDP will help us to raise a stronger coalition with other regional parties for the best interest of the people of the State,” the HSPDP president added.

The HSPDP has two MLAs – Cabinet Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar and Samlin Malgniang.

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Meghalaya and Assam frontrunners in Progress of Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme

Shillong, Dec 26: The Ministry of Power, had launched the Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), with the objective to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of State owned DISCOMs/ Power Departments by providing financial assistance to DISCOMs for modernisation and strengthening of distribution infrastructure, aiming at improvement of the reliability and quality of supply to end consumers.

The State governments of Meghalaya and Assam have become the frontrunners in planning their operational and financial reforms as well as the underlying works to accomplish the same under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (Nodal Agency – REC).

Accordingly, their state-level Distribution Reforms Committee (DRC) and State Cabinet have approved the proposals, including Action Plan and DPR, for consideration under the scheme.
The Action Plans from the states include multiple reform measures aimed towards loss reduction, implementation of smart prepaid metering of majority of their consumer base, 100 percent feeder level energy accounting by financial year 2023, reconductoring of old / frayed conductors, conversion to LT ABC, bifurcation of feeders, segregation of agriculture feeders, and upgradation of billing and other IT/OT systems, in addition to works towards improving quality and reliability of supply.

Under these plans, the State governments have also committed to ensure financial viability of the Discoms, such as liquidation of outstanding subsidy dues and Govt. department dues, implementation of tariff reforms, measures to enhance consumer services etc.

These proposals would now be put forward to the Monitoring Committee set up by the Ministry of Power for approval.
This time, two of the North-Eastern states have shown exemplary initiative in plan formulation for turning around of their power sector.

Also, several other states are also in advanced stages of submission of their proposals under the scheme.

Thirty nine out of 55 beneficiary Discoms (Nodal Agencies REC and PFC) have already submitted their draft proposals and are in active discussions with Nodal Agencies for their finalization, while the balance Discoms are also expected to send their proposals shortly.
It is noteworthy that Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme has an outlay of Rs.3,03,758 crore with an estimated budgetary support from Central Government of Rs. 97,631 crores, which would be available till financial year 2025-26.

The assistance is reforms linked and will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of performance benchmarks by DISCOMs evaluated based on an agreed and customised evaluation framework tied to financial and operational improvements.

The unique feature of the scheme is that its implementation is based on the action plan worked out for each state to address state specific issues, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Key interventions envisioned under this program include providing support to DISCOMs to undertake activities for ensuring 100 percent system metering, implementing Prepaid Smart Metering, Energy Accounting, and implementing infrastructure works for Loss Reduction, as well as for Modernization and System Augmentation aimed at improving the quality and reliability of power supply.

In addition, segregation of feeders dedicated only for supply of power for agricultural purposes, which are proposed to be solarized under the KUSUM scheme, will be sanctioned on priority under the scheme.

Along with their proposals, DISCOMs will also need to submit an Action plan for strengthening their distribution system and improving performance by way of various reform measures targeting improvement in operational efficiency, financial viability and quality and reliability of power supply.
Given the current state of operational and financial losses of Discoms in the country and to provide a much-needed fillip to the power sector as well as the overall economy in the pandemic affected year, multiple meetings and workshops with Discoms have been conducted to assess their level of preparedness for taking benefits under the scheme by the Ministry of Power and the Nodal Agencies, chaired by the Minister of Power, R. K. Singh.

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