Thursday, February 11, 2010

Karnataka bags big deals from Hero Honda, Tata


Bangalore: The state government has firmed up the investment proposal of two-wheeler giant Hero Honda to set up its mega plant in Hubli-Dharwad, and has put the implementation of Tata steel plant in Haveri on fast-track.

The Hero Honda manufacturing plant will come up with an investment of Rs2,000 crore, while the Tata Metaliks plant comes with an investment of Rs15,000 crore. “Both the companies are bringing in big ticket investments,” medium and large industries minister Murugesh Nirani said.

Hero Honda has sought 100 acres of land and identified a suitable site near Hubli-Dharwad. This plant can employ 800 people, he said.

Tata is scheduled to set up a three million tonne per year steel plant in Haveri district where it is looking for a 2,000-acre land. About 10,800 people could get employed once it’s in full swing. The company officials recently scouted the area for a suitable site but the land is yet to be finalised, Nirani said.

World’s second largest optical storage media manufacturing company, Moserbaer, too, has come forward to set up a 50mw grid-connected solar photovoltaic project with an investment of Rs850 crore in Chikkaballapur district.

On January 5, 2010, a high-power committee approved 38 projects; a total investment of Rs1.38 lakh crore. Among them, steel giant Arcelor Mittal, decided to set up a Rs30,000 crore six million tonne mega steel plant in the first phase at a 4,000-acre land in Toranagal in Bellary district. The company has paid Rs60 crore to Karnataka industrial area development board for land acquisition, Nirani said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

State plans to get back Rani Chenamma’s belongings


They are presently housed in a museum in London

Determined: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing a gathering at Kudalasangama in Bagalkot district on Tuesday.
Kudalasangama (Bagalkot district): Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said that the State Government will make sincere efforts to bring back the belongings of Kittur Rani Chennamma, freedom fighter, from a museum in London.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the Lingayat Panchamsali Pratam Jagadguru Mahapeetha here on Tuesday, he said a delegation of State leaders would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and apprise him about the importance of bringing back her belongings.
He said the Government would release a sum of Rs. 1 crore for the construction of the mahapeetha and Rs. 11 crore would be released separately for the development of holy places such as Basavan Bagewadi, Ingaleshwar and M.K. Hubli in the State.
Mr. Yeddyurappa called upon farmers not to oppose the acquisition of dry land for setting up of industries and other development projects.
“Officers have been instructed to apprise farmers about the pros and cons of acquiring dry land in districts where heavy industries are to come up. The Government will acquire the land only after paying suitable compensation to the owners,” he added.
The State Government, he said, was committed to the progress of farmers and the poor.
The forthcoming budget would focus on agriculture, health and rural development.
Utmost care would be taken to protect the interests of farmers, the poor and the middle class, he added.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bhimgarh (Dist: Belgaum) now wildlife sanctuary


BANGALORE: A decade’s struggle has paid off. The ministry of environment and forests gave its consent to declare Bhimgadh in Belgaum district as a wildlife sanctuary. Goa is probably heaving a sigh of relief as it had locked horns with Karnataka over the Mahadayi river valley diversion project.

Bhimgadh was in the eye of a storm for two reasons. While it was a political issue between Goa and Karnataka over sharing of Mahadayi water, wildlife enthusiasts were keen on saving this unique habitat. Chief wildlife warden B K Singh confirmed that the Centre had given its consent for declaring 138 sqkm of forest as a wildlife sanctuary and the government issued the order three days ago.

Bhimgadh shelters two rare bat species — Wroughton free-tailed bats and Tomb bats. In India, Barapidi in Bhimgadh has the only colony of Wroughton free-tailed bats. Their only other habitat in the world is Brazil. Tomb bats are found in West Bengal. B K Singh said the Barapidi caves were part of the sanctuary. Wildlife enthusiast Ajay Desai said the forest was also a triangular corridor for tigers and elephants, which migrate between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

State wanted water share
Bangalore: Bhimgarh, a unique habitat for two rare bat species, had been caught in a political wrangle with Goa even as wildlife enthusiasts fought to save it.
Karnataka wanted to build two check dams at Kalasa and Banduri to tap 7.5 tmcft water for supplying drinking water to Hubli-Dharwad. The project involved submerging 323 hectares of forest and the issue had been referred to the forest advisory committee for clearance.

The main Mahadayi project involved three dams at Potli, Alsara and Harinala. Karnataka argued that its catchment contributed 45 tmcft water to the Mahadayi river and over 200 tmcft of river water flowed into the sea.

Karnataka wanted a share of this water, to which Goa objected. The Goa government even favoured forming a tribunal to settle the dispute.

The issue was politically hot till 2004 during Congress rule. Subsequent coalition governments didn’t show much interest in this issue. Now, if the government wants to take it up, it has to obtain clearance under Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Belgaum Airport upgraded, but no air service

Lying idle: The main entrance of the upgraded airport at Sambra in Belgaum.

Belgaum: The Union Government, particularly the Ministry of Civil Aviation, will be requested to restore air services at Belgaum airport at the earliest, said Suresh C. Angadi, MP.

He was talking to presspersons after inspecting the works at the airport at Sambra here on Thursday.
The airport has been upgraded and equipped with better facilities at a cost of Rs. 3.57 crore recently. The upgraded airport now has its own ATC (Air Traffic Control) room and facilitates landing/take off during night hours too. Close Circuit Television and parking facility for 50 vehicles has also been provided.

It may recalled here that air services connecting Belgaum with Bangalore and Mumbai were stopped about an year ago for to want of adequate passenger traffic. However, in view of the fresh demand for restoration of services, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation (independent charge) Praful Patel, during his last visit to the city on November 14 last had assured to restore air services in three months.

Mr. Angadi said he would take up the matter with the Centre and try his best to have air services, initially from Belgaum to Bangalore and Mumbai without further delay.

He said 370 acres of land adjoining the airport has been acquired to extend the length of existing runway (537 metres).

MP urges railway ministers to include proposals for Belgaum in Railway Budget


BELGAUM: MP Suresh Angadi has posted letters to the Union railway minister Mamata Banerjee and Union minister of state for railways K H Muniyappa, urging them to include the following proposals in the budget, under his jurisdiction, as the annual railway budget 2010-11 will be tabled during the last week of February.

The proposals are: laying a new railway track along Belgaum-Bailhongal (Kittur)-Dharwad, of which survey work has already been completed long ago. Formation of a new double track along Pune-Belgaum-Bangalore route, to facilitate faster movement of trains.

Some other proposals that Angadi requested are, the upgradation of an existing Gokak Road station, carrying survey work for the creation of new track linking Belgaum-Savantwadi (Maharashtra) to Konkan Railways to cut down distance, introduction of new evening daily Garib Rath Express on Hubli-Dadar (Mumbai) route, diversion of present Bangalore-Hajrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express via Belgaum, construction of under bridge at Paschapur station along Belgaum-Miraj route and shifting of an existing goods shed in Belgaum to Sambra to facilitate expansion of Belgaum Railway Station.

Hubli railway station to sport new look


HUBLI: Come December, the Hubli railway station will wear a new look with the completion of works on the new station building. Food plaza, subways, VIP lounge, escalators, spacious AC waiting rooms, etc, will add to the exiting facilities.

There will be separate and wide exit and entry points. The new building that will come up on an area of 8,000 sqmt will have bus parking facility at the subway level. There will be separate parking lots for two- and four-wheelers.

The new building will be a sort of a monument, considering the materials that would be used in its construction, South Western Railway's Hubli divisional railway manager Adesh Sharma told reporters on Thursday.

He said the work on the new building, that will cost Rs 14 crore, has already started. As many as 148 railway quarters located close to the existing station will make way for the new building. About 90 quarters have already been vacated.

Sharma said the platforms will be increased from four to six once the new building is in place. Platform ticket-vending machines will come up in 3-4 months.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dharwad, Gulbarga benches to be permanent


BANGALORE: The people of north Karnataka have reasons to smile as the Union government on Tuesday decided to accord permanent bench status to Dharwad and Gulbarga circuit benches.

The Union Law Ministry has given permanent status to Dharwad and Gulbarga circuit benches after accepting the representations of the state government and advocates from north Karnataka.Recently the Union government had sanctioned nine additional judges to the north Karnataka benches and communication to this effect had been sent to the state government and the High Court.Law Minister Suresh Kumar confirmed the Centre’s decision to give permanent status to the Dharwad and Gulbarga circuit benches. Suresh Kumar congratulated the Union Government for giving permanent status to the circuit benches of north Karnataka.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mega ‘Auto Expo’ in Belgaum


Belgaum: The Lions Club of Belgaum along with Yash Communication, an event management company, will organise a mega “Auto Expo” here in March this year.

It is for the first time that such a event is being organised in north Karnataka. The event is being supported by the District Industries Centre, Belgaum.

The “Auto Expo” will be a biennial trade fair of automobile and auto component manufacturers.
It will focus on the theme “Mobility for All” with special emphasis on the need for environment-friendly fuels/ vehicles, technological advancements, innovative designs and provide an ideal platform for joint ventures, generating enquiries, one to one interaction, sales and brand promotion, industry surveys, promoting exports, and most importantly contribute to growth and opportunity to the local automobile component and related industry.
The Lions Club also aims to raise funds for its programme on eradication of “reversible blindness”, according to event chairman Ram Mohan Naik. For details and to book space, interested persons may contact Ph: 9341109635, 9242350197.

45,000 smiles at job melaFair


BANGALORE: Here's a state government scheme that saw more than 45,000 get jobs even during the peak of recession.

While most schemes launched by the government either do not take off or hit a road block, udyog mela or the job fair organized by the labour department, saw overwhelming response.

Launched eight months ago by the government at a time when economic slowdown was at its peak and lay-off by private companies was the norm, the job fair scheme has been able to provide employment to 45,173 people in private companies at all levels (particularly at skilled labour level), making it one of the most successful projects undertaken by the Yeddyurappa government. The labour department, nodal agency to implement the scheme, terms it as one of the largest successful schemes in the country in recent times.

Job fairs are where private companies participate in a fair organized by the government. Candidates, whose turnout is in thousands, are selected on the spot based on their qualification and the nature of job they require. So far fairs have been held in 12 cities in the state.

The first fair in Bangalore itself attracted 87 companies with total requirement of more than 5,600 jobs. Finally, these companies selected over 2,800 candidates. While the Shimoga job fair turned out to be biggest in terms of participation, Belgaum job fair had maximum offers with nearly 14,000 jobs up for the grabs.

Software, telecom, insurance, security guards, apparel, computer hardware, health, hospitality, engineering, tyres, multi-media, education among others are some of the sectors that have offered employment to the job-seekers. Some of the big companies that have participated in the event include Infosys BPO Ltd, HDFC Insurance, Eureka Forbes, Airtel, Reliance, GMR Group, HCL Software and JK Tyres.

"It was a big challenge for us as the global meltdown had just set in. We were apprehensive whether private companies would participate in the udyog mela. But all our doubts were cleared in the first fair itself as good number of companies turned out providing employment on the spot. This method reduces the delay that happens in normal recruitment process,'' labour minister B N Bachhe Gowda told TOI. of












Monday, February 1, 2010

Karnataka beckons investors


Five major industrial houses, including Hero Honda, evinced their interests in investing in Karnataka when the state government kick-started its investment road show on Friday.

Karnataka Industry Minister Murugesh Nirani told newsmen that these five companies had, during his interaction with  them, promised to invest Rs 4,645 crore in the state.The projects can generate around 8,000 jobs, he said.

Nirani held a series of meetings with industrialists here as part of the road show ahead of the global investors’ meet in Bangalore in June.

Confident minister
The minister is  confident of clinching a deal with Hero Honda soon. The two-wheeler major, which is looking for setting up its fourth plant in the country,  is interested in setting up a plant at Dharwad or Hubli with an investment of  Rs 2,000 crore.
Nirani said the company has said it will send its technical team for evaluating  the project next month. The company has sought 50 to 100 acres. It  has promised jobs to 800 people directly. And 5,000 people may get  jobs indirectly.  A number of auxiliary units can also come up if  the project is set up.

Nectar Lifesciences is also keen on setting up a plant for manufacturing life-saving drugs with an  investment of Rs 1,500 crore. The proposed plant has the potential to generate 800 jobs. The State government has asked the company to submit a  project report.

Mosarbaer has come forward for setting  up a 50 MW grid-connected solar photo voltaic project with an investment of Rs 850 crore in Chickaballapur district. Kajaria Ceramics plans to set up a unit for manufacturing ceramic tiles with an investment of Rs 150 crore in Belgaum. It has the potential to  provide direct employment to 200 people.

The government has already conducted road shows in many   countries. The Delhi programme is its first in India. Similar shows will be held in Mumbai and Chennai.

Walls of Hubli-Dharwad will turn aesthetic


HUBLI: The residents of Hubli-Dharwad will get to see tourist places of Karnataka, its rich temple architecture, cultural heritage and traditions on the walls of the cities.

Taking a cue from the Bruhat Bangalore Municipal Corporation, the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation has decided to smarten up the cities by painting its walls. The intention is to curb defacement, promote state's tourist destinations and highlight its rich and vibrant culture, according to civic officials.

However, the beautification project will not cost too much for the HDMC. It will sell the space for advertisers who will get about 80% of the upper portion of the wall painted free of cost. In turn, they will get the remaining space for advertising their products. The advertisers themselves will see that no posters/ bills will be glued on the paintings.

HDMC special officer N H Naregal said the beautification project has already started in Hubli and Dharwad. "We have begun by painting the walls of HDMC-owned Lamington School in Hubli and Azad Park in Dharwad. Tenders will be invited in a few days to reflect the same elsewhere," he added.