Karnataka may be self-sufficient in power by 2014, says Shobha

Karnataka may be   self-sufficient in power by 2014, says Shobha

With the completion of several new power projects, the State is most likely to be self-sufficient in electricty generation and supply by 2014 on the lines of Gujarath, said Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje.

Yeramarus and Yedlapur thermal power stations, III unit of Bellary power plant, coal based plant in Chattisgarh, gas plant in Bidadi which are yet to start functioning will help to meet the demand for power in the state to a great extent, she said. She was speaking after laying foundation stone for the Mescom office building at Bejai in the city on Thursday.

Alleging the Central government for failing to support the State in electricity generation, she said the State government is confident of completing the projects without the support from the Central government.

The civil work of Yeramarus and Bellary III unit is under progress, while the Yedlapur plant will start functioning soon after the coal blocks are made available. The foundation stone for the gas plant in Bidadi will be laid within a month for which the Department will purchase gas from the international market as the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) has failed to supply the gas, she said.

Citing the theft of electricity as one of the major problems in the power sector, she said the Department has been emphasising on modern technologies to avoid the theft. As all the efforts by the government including the laying of underground cable have not succeeded in curbing the crime, the Department has now stressed on laying aerial bunch cables. “Despite spending Rs 11,000 crore on new line laying and upgrading, building new stations and upgrading, the voltage problem still continues,” she said.

Speaking about purchasing of electricity from other states, the Minister said as all the corridors to supply electricity have been exhausted, the Department could not purchase power from outside.

“We have constantly requested the Centre to lay new corridors, but the Union government has not responded to the plea. Due to this, we have failed to purchase electricity though it is available for low cost in North Indian states,” she said, adding that the State government will set up a thermal power plant in Chattisgarh to generate power for Karnataka.

A total of 1300 acres of land has been acquired at Chattisgarh and Rs 280 crore compensation amount has been given. The work will begin once the coal blocks are made available and the Environment Ministry gives its nod, Shobha said.

Injustice to State

The Minister came down heavily against the statement of Minister of State for Prime Minister’s office V Narayanaswami on supplying all the power generated at Kudamkulam plant to the central grid.

“The Minister has recently made a statement that the total 1300 MW power produced at Kudamkulam will be given to Tamil Nadu. The statement is not justifiable, as according to the policy, 50 per cent of the generated power should be supplied to the central grid, while 50 per cent should be supplied to neighbouring states.

The Minister’s statement, only shows that the Central government is trying to breach the federal structure,” she alleged. Rebuking the statement, she warned that the State would stop supplying power from Kaiga to other states, if the policy is violated by the Central government in Kudamkulam case.

“As per the policy, Karnataka should be supplied with 220 MW, and so will the other states including Kerala and Andhra Pradesh,” she said.

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLC Monappa Bhandari and others were present.

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