Extensive emphasis on infra development

Extensive emphasis on infra development

In line with the previous year’s budget, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has laid extensive emphasis on infrastructure development in the present budget.

Apart from sector-specific infrastructure like schools, hostels, hospitals among other things, the budget stresses on improvement of general infrastructre, too.

Among the proposals is introduction of an Infrastructure Bill to facilitate more projects on a PPP basis through transparent and accountable procedures having a statutory backing. The proposal is expected to be presented before the Legislature in the ongoing session.

A senior official in the Infrastructure Development Department said the Bill envisages a PPP unit to assist the Infrastructure Authority and manage all activities related to policy, technical, legal and such other matters related to PPP projects.

The unit, he said, would be responsible for developing and promulgating procedures and standardise best practices, render and review opinion regarding viability of projects, and disseminate information regarding PPP programmes and individual projects.

Besides, it will undertake public education campaigns on a PPP basis to stakeholders; prepare and distribute information and directives about PPP projects; issue standardised documents and so on.

The budget also proposes a comprehensive Karnataka Strategic Infrastructure Investment Plan with a large bouquet of investment-ready infrastructure project in 12 sectors with assistance from competent consultants and transaction advisors.

According to the Plan, the proposed sectoral outlay under the annual plan 2012-13 is 72,500 lakh; under the sectoral decentralised plan, the department gets 19,000 lakh. And provisions of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) has Rs 3,58,500 lakh and Rs 61,000 lakh, respectively.

The government is also proactively building the capacity of its officers in economic and social infrastructure sectors to identify, design, develop and monitor projects through the PPP route.

One of the major highlights would be that hinterland connectivity is being ensured by taking up Hubli-Ankola Railway Line project further. The Indian Institute of Science has prepared Environment Impact Mitigation Report and the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Central Working Committee of Supreme Court of India will be requested to give environmental clearance so that the project can be taken forward.

Brick by brick

* Shimoga and Gulbarga airports to be made operational this fiscal

* Expansion of Hubli and Belgaum airports to be initiated; Airport Authority expected to invest Rs 150 crore

* Preparation of DPR for a sea port at Tadadi at Rs 3,000 crore started

* Work on development of road network to connect Karwar and Tadadi port to begin

* Railway projects: Gadag-Wadi, Gadag Haveri and Srinivaspur–Madanapalli proposed

* Work on the sea coast management project at Ullal (at Rs 170 crore) with loan assistance from ADB is expected to commence this fiscal

* Work of laying a natural gas pipeline from Dabhol to Bangalore by GAIL is expected to be completed this fiscal.

* Railway lines between Kadur-Chikmagalur; Ramanagara-Mandya doubling; Shravanabelagola-Hirisave and Nelamangala-Soluru lines are planned to be completed. Rs 445 crore is earmaked for the project.

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