Bangalore: Karnataka, which has been facing a power shortage for the past two years, will have four new gas-based power projects along the route of the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline being executed by Gas Authority of India Ltd.
The State Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, approved the projects, apart from a high-speed rail link to Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli and a monorail that will be connected to the Namma Metro rail network. The Metro network will be extended to new areas, including Kengeri on the western outskirts of Bangalore.
Location of plants
Briefing presspersons on the Cabinet decisions, Home Minister V.S. Acharya and Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar said three of the power projects — 700 MW each — would come up at Hukkeri in Belgaum district, Mundargi in Dharwad district and Harapanahalli in Davangere district in the private sector.
The fourth is the 2,000 MW gas-based project at Bidadi to be executed by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. Each of these projects will require around 300 acres of land. Construction of the gas pipeline is expected to be completed by 2012.
Dr. Acharya said the Cabinet also approved the purchase of 700 MW of electricity on a short-term basis from cogeneration units (200 MW) and from Jindal Power (500 MW). While the cogeneration units will be paid Rs. 5 a unit, Jindal will be paid Rs. 6.50 a unit, and this short-term contract is valid until May 31. The State has been purchasing nearly 1,000 MW over the past two months to tide over the shortage. The high-speed rail link to the international airport from the Parade Ground on Mahatma Gandhi Road will be via Hebbal and Yelahanka.
The Cabinet also decided to stand guarantee for a Rs. 1,000-crore loan for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike meant mainly to widen some of the arterial roads. The Cabinet approved the upgrading of National Highway 4 between Hubli and Dharwad (20 km) at a cost of nearly Rs. 150 crore. The Union Government has granted Rs. 50 crore for this and has promised that another Rs. 50 crore will be provided. Tenders will be called shortly.
The following are the some of the other Cabinet decisions: only officers of the IAS and professors who have put in 10 years of service will be eligible for appointment as registrars of universities; nearly 1300 personnel to be recruited to the Department of Survey Settlement and Land Records; special duty allowance for police personnel serving in the Anti-Naxal Force; and 12.28 acres of land to be granted to the Indian Institute of Human Settlement in Kempe Gowda layout of the Bangalore Development Authority at a subsidised cost.