PPP projects see no progress

Most of the projects, taken up under the public private partnership (PPP) in the State with a lot of expectation, have remained just on paper.

The State has till 2013 approved 191 projects worth Rs 1.56 lakh crore for implementation under the public private partnership, starting from 40 in 2008. Hardly 18 of these projects have been completed and an equal number of projects are under implementation. So the projects implemented are a little less than 10 pc of the total projects envisaged since last five years.

According to the Urban Development Department, out of the 18 projects completed at a cost of Rs 4096.27 crore, eight are in the transport sector with an investment of Rs 3,744 crore. Another 86 projects in the same sector, which require huge investment, have not been executed. For the 18 ongoing projects, Rs 12,387 crore has been invested.

The Vision 2020 for Karnataka seeks to propel a holistic growth by promoting equitable development of sectors and districts, by providing employment to all sections of people and regions of the State. Karnataka aiming to see a growth of the State GDP at nine pc, required infrastructure investment of nine pc every year. As the public funds may not be adequate, the Planning Commission, in the 12th Five Year Plan, had suggested that 50 pc of the fund requirement may be met from the private sector.

The Economic Survey for the 2013-14 has suggested that there are several constrains for taking up projects on PPP basis by the State departments and agencies. The government has to adopt a programme-based approach, given the huge demand for infrastructure projects in various sectors.

Some of the important PPP projects include High Speed Rail Link Project in Bangalore, Light Rail Train in Bangalore, port at Tadadi, airports in districts, gas-based project and Devanahalli business park.

On few takers for the PPP projects, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that private players invest money only on projects which would fetch them huge returns. “Any project could attract investment provided it located in a commercial area.

Sometimes, project promoters expect government to invest money. A project developer wanted to take up construction of the Kempe Gowda bus stand on a PPP model. But he wanted the government to invest Rs 600 crore. The government did not agree,” he said.

Former Infrastructure minister Santosh Lad said attributed the poor flow of the investments to economic slow down. An investor will take up projects only if they viable. “Unless investors get assured support from the government, they will not invest. Most of the projects get embroiled in some controversies – political or environment,” he said.

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