Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath has said that new power generation capacities that will be available “soon” will ease the power shortage in Karnataka. He was addressing a conference on “Brand Karnataka” organised by the Confederation of India Industry's Karnataka Chapter on the occasion of its Annual Members' Day on Thursday.

Mr. Ranganath said about 1,750 MW of capacity would be available soon — 250 MW from the Raichur thermal power plant, 1,000 MW of the 1,200 MW from the power plant at Udupi, and 500 MW from the new unit at Bellary. “The Raichur unit will be synchronised by March-end and the Udupi unit by May or June,” he said. The 500 MW unit at Bellary is likely to synchronised by December, he added.

While the demand for power was currently about 140-146 million units a day, availability was about 120 million units. Mr. Ranganath said the fresh capacities would close the demand-supply gap. Groundbreaking for the National Thermal Power Corporation's (NTPC) 4,000-MW power plant in Bijapur is scheduled for this month-end, he said.

Referring to the gas pipeline being constructed by the GAIL India Ltd, which will transport gas from Dabhol to Bangalore, Mr. Ranganath said the gas could be utilised for generating about 8,000 MW of power in the State. “The State is also looking at sourcing gas from the Krishna-Godavari Basin (which is operated by Reliance) to hedge against price fluctuations.” The GAIL project is to source gas from Qatar and other overseas suppliers.

Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, V.P. Baligar, said seven multiproduct Special Economic Zones are to be launched soon, in public-private partnership mode. He said tenders for the Jigani to Bommasandra road project, which has been a “long-pending demand of industry”, had been finalised. “Work orders will be issued today,” he said. The project is expected to cost Rs. 18 crore. He said a cement plant, proposed by the Anil Dirubhai Ambani Group, “is likely to be approved soon”.

Ashok Kumar Manoli, Principal Secretary, IT and Biotechnology, said the IT Investment Region (ITIR), spread over 10,000 acres near the Bengaluru International Airport, would attract investments of Rs. 1 lakh crore.

Mr. Manoli said the industrial cluster in Bangalore generated exports worth Rs. 2,546 crore last year, which was the highest among all Indian industrial clusters around cities.

The Cabinet Note on the new Marine Biotech park is “likely to be ready soon,” he said.

Aroon Raman assumed office as Chairman of the CII's Karnataka State Council with effect from Thursday. Mr. Raman said the CII, which is partnering the Karnataka Government in hosting the Global Investors' Meet to be held in June, had been entrusted with the task of drawing global companies in the field of aerospace, automobiles, infrastructure and power to the event.