'No question of converting UPCL to gas based plant'


Speaking to the media here after inaugurating the Rs 33.21 crore 220 KV Double Circuit Line, he said that the government was committed to go ahead with all ongoing power projects including the coal based thermal power projects with minimum harm to ecology. Apart from attaining self sufficiency in the power sector before the completion of five years rule of BJP, the State will go for excess power generation to meet the requirement for the next 10 year period, he added.

He said that the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL), earlier known as Nagarjuna Power Company Limited (NPCL), near Padubidre will start producing power by March next year. The production of 500 MW power from the first unit of the company would be taken to the main grid by March end. There is no question of converting the plant to a gas based power project, as the project is nearing the target of producing power from the first unit. About 60 per cent of the work is completed, he added.

Eshwarappa said that he was not aware on what context, Union Minister Jayram Ramesh has spoken against taking up the proposed Gundya mini hydel project in Dakshina Kannada. In fact, it is he who as the then Minister of State for energy proposed the State government to take up four projects including  Gundya, Shivanasamudram, Hogenakal and Raichur. The government had also got the environmental clearance from the department of environment. The foundation for Raichur plant was laid by Sonia Gandhi four years ago, he said and added that he would consult Jayram Ramesh who is now the Minister of State for forest on the issue.

Retorting to a query, he said that there is no politics behind power generation. It is only a few environmentalists who are opposing the hydel, gas based and coal based projects. Even the Union Energy Minister had expressed his concern for Karnataka as it is lagging behind in taking up the Ultra Mega Power Projects in the state while all other South Indian states have gone ahead. The government would not hesitate or go back from set goals of generating power. The government is also aware of environment concerns and will take all the precautionary measures to lessen the damages, he assured.

Eshwarappa said that the process of acquisition of land for setting up a 2,000 MW power project in Chhattisgarh has been conceived. Both the governments have appointed acquisition officers for the purpose. The project might take four years for completion, he informed. Later, he visited Nagarjuna Power project near Padubidre along with Principal Secretary of the Department, Managing Directors of KPTCL and MESCOM.

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