Eight new residential and industrial clusters will come up around Bangalore to decongest the city, and the Rs. 2,100-crore project will be taken up by the State government with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

The townships will be linked by rail and road and preliminary discussions with the ADB are under way. Of the Rs. 2,100 crore required, the ADB is expected to provide Rs. 1,400 crore.

Briefing presspersons after a marathon meeting of the State Cabinet wherein over 50 subjects were on the agenda, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar said the clusters will include the industrial areas presently in their vicinity. The eight clusters are: Ramanagaram-Channapatna, Kanakapura , Nelamangala, Dobbspet-Peenya, Doddaballapur, Anekal-Jigani-Attibele, Devanahalli-Vijayapura, Magadi and Hoskote-Krishnarajapuram.

The Karnataka Urban Infrastructure and Finance Corporation and the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority have conducted a study on the clusters based on the population (as per 2011 Census) in the outlying areas of Bangalore. While the present population is 1.01 crore, it is expected to be around 1.80 crore in 2030 and consequently will be the demand for housing.

The Cabinet also approved upgradation of the existing highway between Hubli and Dharwad to a six-lane expressway at a cost of Rs. 82 crore, and the project is scheduled to be completed by January 2015.

Mr. Kumar said the Cabinet approved a higher minimum support price for paddy and tur dal (red gram) and additional incentive will be paid for another two months. The Centre has fixed a MSP of Rs. 1,250 and Rs. 1,280 a quintal for two varieties of rice and the State government will pay an incentive of Rs 250 per quintal. Likewise, for tur dal, the Centre has fixed a MSP of Rs. 3,850 per quintal and the State government will provide an additional Rs. 650 per quintal thus totalling up to Rs. 4,500.

The Cabinet approved changes in the written examination for the Gazetted Probationers (leading to KAS) conducted by the Karnataka Public Service Commission and henceforth it will be on the same lines as that conducted by the Union Public Service Commission wherein in the preliminary examinations wrong answers will attract negative marks.

Mr. Kumar said a 200 MW solar power plant will come up at Challakere in Chitradurga district and Sagater Ventures Limited of Taiwan will implement the project.

The other important decisions included raising the lease amount for the Mysore Race Course from Rs. 2 lakh per year (for 150 acres at Kurubarahalli) to around Rs. 30 lakh per year (around two per cent of the annual revenue), to start a government polytechnic at Aldur in Chikmagalur district, raising the seating capacity at Bannimantap in Mysore city from 22,000 to 32,000 at a cost of Rs. 6.5 crore, regularising the services of 147 AYUSH doctors starting Morarji Desai residential schools and preuniversity colleges at Hukkeri (near Hidkal dam) and Nidasosi in Belgaum district and Kalli in Uttara Kannada district.

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